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Iconic Isokon Furniture by Marcel Breuer and two enamel paintings by Le Corbusier
Iconic Isokon Furniture by Marcel Breuer and two enamel paintings by Le Corbusier

Press release -

Iconic Isokon Furniture at Auction

Bruun Rasmussen's design auctions are best known for the furniture classics from the Scandinavian countries, but this time the auction house broaden the perspective and dives into international design history with a series of furniture pieces from Isokon by the distinguished Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer.

"Today, Breuer's Isokon furniture is featured at the world's leading museums, and at the auction we have several examples, including the ”Short Chair” – the iconic chaise longue designed in 1936," says Peter Kjeldgaard, head of design from the 20th century. 

Isokon's marketing was also taken care of and launched the chair's corresponding predecessor the "Long Chair" with the following description: "The ISOKON LONG CHAIR gives scientific relaxation to every part of the body, immediately creating a sense of well-being. It is even a better aid to digestion than any medicine under the sun. Admirable for those who take forty winks after lunch." The auction's furniture pieces by Breuer were until recently with their original owners who acquired them in the 1930s.

Breuer, Bauhaus and Isokon

Marcel Breuer was educated at the Bauhaus School, but left Germany due to the rise of Nazism during the mid-1930s and immigrated to London. In 1935, he moved into the English equivalent of the Bauhaus, the Isokon Building, which was founded on a philosophy of the modern, urban and free lifestyle. The founders were the innovative furniture manufacturer John Pritchard and the architect Wells Coates, who were inspired by Le Corbusier's vision of "the home as a machine". The result was an experiment in Modernist design, where food, cleaning and laundry were all included in the rent.

Isokon – a Sanctuary of the Inter-War Period

Isokon served as a sanctuary for architects, artists and writers of the inter-war period and housed a wealth of famous names such as the architects Walter Gropius and Egon Riss, the artist László Moholy-Nagy and the crime novelist Agatha Christie. During Breuer’s time with this creative community, he further developed his tubular steel furniture pieces and transferred the forms to a softer material. He designed a series of furniture for Isokon in moulded, laminated birch wood, which was part of the building's interior and was produced at a furniture factory in Estonia. The idea of recycling was certainly present at Isokon, since the boxes that the furniture pieces were transported to England in subsequently became part of the completed furniture in the shape of armrests.

Axel Salto’s Sprouting, Budding and Fluted Forms

At the upcoming design auction we are lucky to be able to present no less than 14 of Axel Salto's ceramic works, a handful of which are in an international league of their own. This includes a large vase from 1955 modelled in the sprouting style and decorated with oxblood glaze. The beautiful blue Butterfly Wing glaze can be found on a colossal floor vase, modelled with "living stone" - Salto's poetic expression for a spider in its web.

As an artist, Salto achieved his breakthrough in 1925 after presenting his ceramic works at the World Exhibition in Paris. Today, he is considered one of the most renowned Danish artists of the 20th century, and his efforts within the field of ceramics cannot be overestimated – he exceeded the limits of ceramics and transformed it from pottery to genuine art. Salto's sublime stoneware is often seen on the auction market, but the larger, significant and iconic works are becoming rarer and rarer. 

International design auction

Auction: 6-7 December at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Bredgade 33, Copenhagen

Preview: 23-27 November at the same address

View the design lots offered at our evening sale on 6th December

View the design lots offered at our afternoon sale on 7th December




Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.

In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.


Kirstine Dam Olsen

Kirstine Dam Olsen

Press contact +45 8818 1064

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Bruun Rasmussen – Part of the Bonhams Network

"Going once, going twice. Sold to the lady in the front row". For more than 75 years, the auction house Bruun Rasmussen has sold art, antiques, design, jewellery, wristwatches and collector’s items such as wine, books, coins and stamps. After having been family-owned through three generations, we were bought in 2022 by the English auction house Bonhams, which was founded in England in 1793 and is today one of the world's leading auction houses. We are now part of an international network with a global reach, and we present and sell art where it makes the most sense in relation to potential buyers. This also means that through the network we offer more than 60 categories of items at our auctions.

Art and credibility are at the heart of everything we do. The work in the auction house places great demands on our knowledge of art and trends on the market. Our specialists are the most experienced and competent in the industry, and in the Bonhams Network we share knowledge and communicate across national borders with a large number of international specialists. This way, we can provide the best valuation and advice that have become our trademark – and thereby offer the best lots from all categories and achieve the highest hammer prices for the benefit of our customers.

Tradition and innovation go hand in hand. At Bruun Rasmussen, we are one of Europe's most modern and digital auction houses, and it is only natural for us to adapt to changes in the market. Innovation is part of our DNA, while we are also deeply rooted in our history. The foundation of the company rests on our two types of auctions – Online Auction and Live Auction. Every week we put more than a thousand lots up for auction at, and several times a year we present exclusive lots live in our saleroom. We are proud to sell art and design in virtually every category and price range to and for people all over the world who are driven by the same passion as we are.

We want to be a living centre of culture, and since the autumn of 2023, we have been located in Lyngby north of Copenhagen in a new, modern domicile. Here you can not only explore among all the art objects on display and bid on the exciting auctions, you can also meet our specialists, get an estimate on your own items, consign them for auction, listen to exciting lectures and participate in cultural events. We also have branches in Aarhus and Glostrup and regularly go on valuation trips around Denmark and abroad. Our goal is to always be available and for everyone to have a good experience in our auction house.

Welcome to Bruun Rasmussen – we can help you make a good purchase or achieve a great sale!

Bruun Rasmussen – Part of the Bonhams Network
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