It was a miserable rainy day when I passed in front of the NeC Gallery (Nisen et Chiglien) at 117 rue Veille du Temple, where this original Arne Jacobsen table was sitting in the window. Installed in a universe of mid-century scandanavian design, it was just what I needed. Warm, comfortable, not too precious, perfect for serving up hot chocolate or coffee and carrot cake, it was also ready for a few extra friends that maybe pass by. (Unfortunately this is not likely to happen, as the gallery is rather protective of it’s pieces). This is the kind of table that when I was growing up I knew that adults loved.
The table is known as the “Grand Prix” table, since the chairs on which the design is based, won the Grand prix at the XI Triennale di Milano in 1957. Like the chairs, the upper parts are made of teak and the legs are made of beech. It is the legs of the table which are of particular interest, the curved lines reflect the lines of Arne Jacobsen chairs, creating a section that is strong and light. Unusually this is a full set so I’m sure it will be bought quickly.
This table illustrates Jacobsens ability to take the simple, light-weight functionality of the international style yet infuse it with a softness and warmth that is so important in northern countries when you need to get out of the rain. A necessary balance between the formal and casual at a time where modern living meant that the formal dining table and the kitchen table became one and the same.