Total width of cabinet with doors fully open: 131 cm
80 H x 60 W x 39.5 D cm
31 1/2 H x 23 1/2 W x 15 1/2 D in
Manufacturer: Nordiska Kompaniet, Sweden
Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels à Paris 1925
Carl Hörvik was one of Sweden’s foremost architects alongside the world famous Gunnar Asplund. For the World Exhibition in Paris 1925 (”Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels à Paris 1925) he created several acclaimed pieces of furniture for the Swedish pavilion and they were manufactured by Nordiska Kompaniet (NK). Perhaps the most important pieces were the very luxurious gilded cabinet and the two armchairs for the reception hall which won the prestigious Grand Prix.
The cabinet is ambiguous in its expression which makes it extraordinarily dynamic. With the doors closed it is strict, discrete and elegant and the quality of design and workmanship is fully apparent. Like a theater, or perhaps a Fabergé egg, or even a person, the inside is beautiful and dazzling. When the six doors are open the cabinet glows with its golden garb, and the sedate becomes a gala.
The cabinet is 173 cm high, roughly the same height as an average person, and was designed in an age when an individual’s emotional life became increasingly important, Sigmund Freud played a major role in how people perceived themselves and their inner emotions. The inside suddenly became more important than the exterior, in the same way as Hörvik’s cabinet.
The Swedish participation in the exhibition was a considerable success. Sweden won 36 medals for its objects, an achievement second only to France’s. Even the international press paid tribute to the Swedish pavilion. The German scholar and critic Armand Weiser wrote in the Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration 1925 that “there was something very special which separated this pavilion from all the others: the surprising and convincing relationship between function and pure design, between simplicity and exquisite workmanship, between delicacy and solidity”.