Amazing furniture, amazing story

Today we’re going to brag a little bit again. Actually more than usual, because we want to show you the crown jewel of our collection. It started as usual when buying many other items. A seller was selling so called ‘PRL chair’. The only thing was that it immediately seemed to me that the chair was much older than the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). It soon turned out that this was not the only item to be sold – there was also another chair, armchairs, footstools and a chess table with a set of original pieces. As I looked at each piece of furniture, my eyes opened wider and wider. I knew that I had unusual objects in front of me! I did not think long and bought the whole set. We just had to bring it from the Tricity to Warsaw, which was not easy, because the furniture is a fair size.

Once the furniture was with us, I began to establish the facts about the entire set. Here they are:

  • The furniture comes from Lviv, Ukraine and is about 90-100 years old.
  • It was a wedding gift for the great-grandparents of the gentleman who decided to sell them.
  • After World War II, when Lviv was outside the Polish borders, the then owners of the furniture moved to Poland – Silesia and then to Gdańsk, and the furniture travelled with them all the time.

Why did the presented set make such an impression on me? Well, those who have been following our posts, certainly know that my fetish is the work of the ŁAD Cooperative, and the first association that came to my mind when I saw the set presented here was the pre-war work of the Cooperative. I followed this trail in an attempt to identify the author of the set. Here, the help of Ms Anna Maga from the Polish National Museum in Warsaw (Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie) proved invaluable, as she pointed out the great similarities between the armchairs from our set and the armchair by Janina Grzędzielska, which is presented at the Gallery of Polish Design at the National Museum in Warsaw ( And indeed – the type of wood used to make the armchairs, the joints of the wooden elements, the armrests which are practically identical in the armchairs from our set and the one in the National Museum’s collection all point to the fact that our furniture was also designed by Janina Grzędzielska!

So my intuition was not wrong! After all, Janina Grzędzielska cooperated with the pre-war ŁAD Cooperative and her furniture was presented, among others, at the exhibition ‘Art of the Interior’ (‘Sztuka Wnętrza’) held in 1936 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cooperative. However, there was a question – how did the furniture get to Lviv? After all, the work of the ŁAD Artists Cooperative was concentrated mainly in Warsaw. Well, Janina Grzędzielska also created in Smyha! Today, this town is located in Ukraine. Before the Second World War, however, Smyha was part of the Volhynia Voivodship in the territory of the Second Polish Republic. I suspect, therefore, that the set owned by us was designed by Ms Grzędzielska in Smyha, produced in the workshop of the School of Fine Arts which operated there, and from there found its way to a furniture store in Lviv. Its further history is described above.

Sadly, the trace of their author disappears with the beginning of the Second World War…


We hope that at least some of you have reached the end of this entry (tltr?), but we are very proud

that we managed to save this set of furniture and restore the memory of it.