• Henry van de Velde Leuring Tabouret - Stool
Listed as the ''Leuring stool'' in the German catalogue raisonné of van de Velde's work, this piece was first made in cream lacquer, the finish used for numerous other models commissioned so generously by the Dutch dermatologist J.H. and executed from September 1901 by van de Velde in The Hague. Arranged by a mutual friend, the painter and craftsman Jan Thorn Prikker, the commission entailed designing the interior, the appointments and furnishings of a spacious house.

The first such commission given to the artist after he had built his own house, ''Bloemenwerf'', this one marked the onset of the Belgian designer's meteoric rise to fame. Following as it did on the failure of van de Velde's businesses in Brussels and Berlin and the abrupt termination of his contract with the ''Hohenzollern Kunstgewerbehaus'' in Berlin, this commission marked another ''fresh start'', one which would be followed by numerous other commissions until the late 1940s. In the summer of 1901, van de Velde's activities in Weimar were still far off and he was once again staring failure in the face.

Moreover, he had had to submit in Berlin to a contract stipulating forfeit for five years of the copyright to all models designed up to that point. In this respect, too, the Leuring commission marked a turnaround. The artist had vowed, since his work was being so widely imitated, to abandon the floral, organic line which had up to then been his hallmark, his "démon". Stringent design, uncompromisingly ''guided by reason'', would henceforth be the creed informing his "mission". Like so many of his other small pieces of furniture, including some stool, chair and table models, the "Leuring stool" was often made, usually only slightly modified.

The stool was available in several sizes and in numerous woods and finishes, ranging from colour variants, although cream lacquer predominated, to polished hardwoods such as mahogany, walnut or ebony. Designs by van de Velde also attest to variously coloured upholstery in leather and fabrics. There are ''Leuring stools'' in several private collections as well as the Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum in Hagen, the Ghent Museum for the Applied Arts and the Städtische Kunstsammlungen in Chemnitz. Executed in solid beechwood, lacquered or stained

Henry van de Velde