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Pair of Architectural Candlesticks 'Prototypes' by Steven Holl for Swid Powell

US$4,500per set


These early prototypes were used as samples for the patination of the bronze. This coloration is more closely related to traditional antique techniques, and is quite rustic. The final patina selected for production was a paler green with a more uniform color. The tallest candlestick features three straight lines with perpendicular rectangles for the base and the top. Its partner has two straight lines with a curly tendril reaching from the perpendicular rectangle at the top to the one at the bottom. Incised with signature on bottom S. Holl, ©Swid Powell. An extremely rare set. In the book, Swid Powell: Objects by Architects, Annette Tapert noted Holl's intensely intellectual approach found a worthy Challenge when he turned his attention to designing candlesticks. "I was able to find a relationship to what I was thinking about at the time, which was to investigate the realm of the material in which something is made. The IDEA was to take material, apply several coats of acid and watch a natural process pull-out the color - in this case a raw patina green. Having done that, I considered the notion of space. I set the candlesticks high, so that when they are placed on a table, you see through them rather than look at them. We're not talking about just an object for the table here." This is a subtle and elegant pair and an excellent example of the architectural brilliance of Steven Holl.


  • Creator
    Swid Powell (Manufacturer),Steven Holl (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 21 in. (53.34 cm)Width: 4.75 in. (12.07 cm)Depth: 4.75 in. (12.07 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Post-Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Denton, MD
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU153625777133

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    US$110 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Denton, MD
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 30 days of delivery.

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About the Manufacturer

Swid Powell

The New York City–based tableware company Swid Powell produced some of the most distinctive china and silver of the 1980s in collaboration with international architects and designers. It enjoyed renewed attention in 2007, when the Yale University Art Gallery mounted the exhibition “The Architect’s Table: Swid Powell and Postmodern Design,” celebrating the donation to its collection of the company’s papers. Swid Powell was established in 1982 by Nan Swid and Addie Powell, who met while working at the modernist furniture company Knoll. Their idea was to translate the aesthetics of postmodern design from the skyscraper to the dining table, and they brought into their preliminary discussions nine prominent architects. Among these were Philip Johnson, Stanley Tigerman and Richard Meier, all of whom expressed enthusiasm about making their designs accessible beyond the small group with the funds to commission buildings from them. The first Swid Powell collection was launched in 1984, accompanied by a bold, graphic print campaign in keeping with the era’s advertising trends. The company’s best-known collaboration was with Robert Venturi’s Philadelphia-based firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, whose patterns — particularly the floral design Grandmother inspired by a tablecloth Venturi saw at the home of a colleague's grandmother — adorned Swid Powell porcelain as well as furniture and clothing. The firm also partnered with architect Richard Meier, whose geometric designs were inspired in part by those of Josef Hoffmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Swid Powell also worked with Arata Isosaki, Ettore Sottsass, Zaha Hadid and George Sowden, creating products that incorporated the bright, saturated colors and popular and historical references, like Classical columns, that animated postmodern design in the 1980s. The Chicago Blue china pattern designed for Swid Powell by the firm Gwathmey Siegel references the distinctive patterns of Frank Lloyd Wright’s leaded glass windows. As you will see in the examples below, Swid Powell continued to produce fine, fashionable homewares throughout the decade and beyond.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Denton, MD
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Established in 2005
1stDibs seller since 2015
130 sales on 1stDibs
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