10 iconic vintage tables
In a previous article, we presented 15 iconic vintage lamps from 20th century design. Let’s continue our tour with a selection of 10 iconic vintage tables! Through this selection of dining tables, coffee tables and pedestal tables, you will discover some incredible modern pieces.
The “Tulip” table by Eero Saarinen (1956)
In the 1950s, Eero Saarinen designed the Tulip collection. This unique line of furniture consists of chairs, armchairs and tables. What do these pieces have in common? They all rest on a single leg! The designer wanted to put an end to the“leg jungle”. You may not know it, but the techniques required to achieve such a result are impressively ingenious. A real feat for the time! The “Tulip” table is a timeless icon. If you take a stroll on Pinterest, you will notice that it is very often present in trendy interiors. It must be said that it exists in many models according to the tastes and needs of everyone: dining table (4 possible diameters), coffee table, pedestal table… The top can be oval or round, in wood, laminate or marble. If you want to learn more about this beautiful table, discover its history here.
The “IN-50” or “Coffee Table” by Isamu Noguchi (1944)
Isamu Noguchi was passionate about creating sculpture in bronze and marble. He applied his artistic skills and knowledge to the creation of furniture. In 1944, he designed the iconic “IN-50” coffee table. However, it was not until 1947 that Herman Miller produced the table. The success of this model is based on its sculptural aesthetic and its original biomorphic structure. The free-form top is made of translucent glass. The original models (1st series) were placed on a solid walnut base. Since 2002, Vitra has reissued the Coffee Table but with a black ash, maple or walnut base (2nd series).
The “La Fonda” table by Charles & Ray Eames (1961)
Charles & Ray Eames, the mythical couple of American designers, need no introduction! If we often talk about them for their fibreglass chairs or the Lounge Chair, they are also at the origin of another design icon: the “La Fonda” table. This is part of a collection of furniture created for the La Fonda Del Sold restaurant in Rockefeller Center in 1961. It is a testament to their desire to combine aesthetics and functionality in each of their creations. The base can be either in polished aluminium or coated with Rilsan. The top is available in marble, glass, wood and even laminate! The table is available in 3 heights: 45cm, 60cm or 68cm, 2 possible diameters: 60 cm or 72 cm. The table was originally produced by Herman Miller in 1961. It is now reissued by Vitra in one size (marble top diameter 65cm, chromed aluminium base).
The rectangular coffee table by Willy Rizzo (circa 1970)
Willy Rizzo is a talented Italian photographer who has covered many events such as the Cannes Film Festival and the Nuremberg Trial. In 1968, he started to create a wide range of furniture. It was at this time, around 1970, that he created the very refined rectangular coffee table. Its lacquered wooden structure and metal cladding give it a rare elegance. The designer published the table in the 1970s through his own company. It is no longer produced today.
The “Circle” coffee table by Pierre Paulin (circa 1960)
Pierre Paulin is undoubtedly one of the greatest French designers of his generation! He has designed numerous pieces of seating furniture such as the ribbon chair, the tongue chair, the Tulipe armchair etc. A prolific and creative designer, he is also the creator of desks and tables as shown by the “Circle” coffee table
designed around 1960. Its curves are elegant, its line is sober, its look is modern… In short, a real success!
The “LTR” side table by Charles & Ray Eames (1950)
The small “LTR” side table is discreet but trendy! It ages without a single wrinkle and remains a coveted piece for lovers of interior decoration and especially of design! Light and mobile, it is both practical and beautiful. In fact, the Eames couple themselves used it in their home! Produced by Herman Miller, its top is originally made of plywood with bevelled edges, in black, white or natural wood. Vitra now produces the model: the top is made of laminated wood with a hard laminate coating and can be supplied in three colours: white, black or gold. The base is made of steel wire, chrome-plated or with an epoxy finish.
The “91” table by Alvar Aalto (1935)
Alvar Aalto is a Finnish designer with worldwide recognition! Throughout his career, he has sought to create a harmony between aesthetics, functionality and respect for the landscape. The “91” table is an example of his desire to combine modernity and tradition. This may not seem obvious at first glance, but this table has revolutionised design! The L-shaped legs have simplified production techniques as they can be easily attached to the table top without the need for a frame or an additional supporting structure. Artek, a company founded by the Aalto couple, is still the official publisher of the “91” model.
The “901” rolling table by Alvar Aalto (1936)
Alvar Aalto is the creator of another iconic table of 20th century design: the “901” rolling table. When you look at this model, it’s hard to believe that the designer designed it in 1936 because of its avant-garde design! This sideboard is simple yet unusual: its two large wheels give it a touch of originality. Its pure curves allow this table on wheels to find its place in a kitchen, a dining room or even a living room. It is still published by Artek.
“Discover all of Alvar Aalto’s pieces
The “Compass” table by Jean Prouvé (1953)
Jean Prouvé is a great name in French design. Both a designer and a manufacturer, he has left his mark on the world of design with his immense talent.The “Compass” table, designed in 1953, has, as its name suggests, legs in the shape of a compass. A real mark of originality for the time! Its laminated top is screwed to a folded and lacquered steel sheet structure. The table was originally produced by Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé. Vitra reissued the model from 2004 to 2009. Since then, the “Compass” table is no longer produced.
The “Pentagonal” table by Charlotte Perriand (1960s)
Charlotte Perriand revolutionised 20th century design! The democratisation of access to furniture was at the heart of her approach. Also passionate about the mountains, she participated in the development of the Les Arcs ski resort, whose objective was to urbanise the mountain pastures without altering the landscape. She designed a whole range of furniture for these constructions. The “Pentagonale” table is part of this collection. The pine top rests on a metal base. It is no longer produced.