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Pastoe: A History of Dutch Design Excellence

Pastoe, a Dutch furniture manufacturer, is known for creating innovative designs and high-quality craftsmanship. Founded in 1913, the company has a rich history of producing furniture that is both functional and appealing. In this post, we will take you through some of it’s most iconic designs!

Founded by Frits Loeb, who in 1913 decided to produce chairs for his shop himself. This was done in a small craft carpentry factory. The “Utrechtsche Machinale Stoel- en Meubelfabriek” (UMS) grew very quickly. After WWII, UMS made a new start. They changed their direction towards more modern design. They designed their clear collection to fit into various decors and situations. This “passe partout” principle insired the new name for the company: Pastoe.

Cees Braakman and the Japanese series

Cees Braakman is one of the most iconic designers in the history of Dutch furniture. Born in 1917, Braakman started working for his father’s furniture company Pastoe in 1945. He quickly developed an interest in modern design and found himself influenced by the ideas of the De Stijl movement. This movement emphasized the use of geometric shapes and clean lines.

One of his most iconic designs is the U+N series, which became commonly known as the “Japanese series”. Introduced in the 1950s, the sleek and minimalist style of the modern pieces where highly innovative at the time. A departure from the ornate and heavy furniture of the past, it sumbolizes a new era of modern (Dutch) design.

Braakman’s impact on the world of design cannot be overstated. He was a pioneer in the use of new materials and was instrumental in bringing modern design to the masses. His work inspires designers and furniture enthusiasts today, and collectors around the world highly seek his designs.

The below photos are all from the iconic “Japanese” series!

Rob Eckhardt’s creative designs

Another notable designer for Pastoe was Rob Eckhardt, who created some of the company’s most sought after pieces. He studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where he developed a keen eye for geometric shapes and minimalist designs. He worked for Pastoe in the 1970s.

Eckhardt designed several iconic pieces during his time at Pastoe. One of his most famous designs is the “Pouffe Garni” easy chair. It features a low, square seat on a minimalist base and has optional ball shaped feet. This chair perfectly exemplifies Eckhardt’s minimalist approach with a most interesting creative touch. It features clean lines and a simple, yet elegant, design.

Another notable design by Eckhardt is the “Groeten uit Holland” chair, which translates to “Greetings from Holland.” Inspired by the playful shapes of the tulip, this typical Dutch design is a furniture version of a Dutch postcard! It embodies the charm of the lowlands.

Exhibitions around the world frequently showcase Eckhardt’s designs. Design enthusiasts all over the world still seek Eckhardt’s highly collectible pieces. They are timeless, modern and unique.

These photos feature some of Eckhardt’s designs.

Made to Measure

The Made to Measure series, introduced in the 1970s, was a modular system that allowed customers to customize their furniture to their exact specifications. The series was a reflection of the growing trend towards individuality and self-expression in the 1970s, and quickly became one of Pastoe’s most popular offerings. The Made to Measure series was also a reflection of the company’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and helped to cement its reputation as a leading manufacturer of modern furniture. Vintage Made to Measure series always have an interesting personality, as apart from their appealing style they also hold a little personal touch from their previous owners.

An iconic Dutch manufacturer

Pastoe is undoubtedly one of the most interesting furniture companies in the world, with a rich history spanning over a century. Their quality craftsmanship, innovative design, and functionality has resulted in timeless pieces. Designs that are still sought after and popular today. With iconic designs by celebrated designers such as Cees Braakman and Rob Eckhardt, Pastoe has left an indelible mark on the furniture industry. There is so much more to share about this incredible company, and we invite our readers to browse through our website to stay updated with any new and exciting Pastoe finds that we get.