Vintage Willy Guhl Large White Elephant Ear Planter
36" x 29", 14" tall
Willy Guhl was a pioneering Swiss furniture designer and one of the first industrial designers in Switzerland. He worked with a mixture of cement and fibrous material, called Eternit. Guhl was part of the neo-functional design scene in Europe during the mid-20th century. “At the center of my efforts, I put people and their living requirements,” said Guhl. “I want to improve their immediate environment…” (Artnet.com) According to an anecdote, this organically shaped planter came about as follows: In the early 1950s, Guhl paid a visit to the Eternit company in Niederurnen, where a former student was working. At lunch in a nearby restaurant, the two came up with the idea of draping Eternit mats over an edge and letting them harden in that position, just like the tablecloth in the restaurant fell in soft drapes over the table edge. Instead of a rectangular shape like the tablecloth, the designers decided to try for a triangle with rounded corners. A photograph documents the moment when Guhl, Haussmann, and the production director, created by hand a so-called elephant ear, which would later go by the official name “Biasca.” (Museum für Gestaltung Zürich)
Disclaimer – some items may show fading, light scratches, cracks, worn corners, wear from previous use, including minor instability.