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Lilla Åland – a beloved furniture classic on an Åland stamp

27 May sees the issue of an Åland stamp featuring a design classic, the chair Lilla Åland. Swedish furniture designer Carl Malmsten found inspiration for this Windsor-style chair during a visit to Finström church.

Carl Malmsten (1888-1972), one of the foremost furniture designers in Sweden, often named his designs after places he associated them with. Malmsten held a craft course for Åland Folk High School in 1938, and he found inspiration for Lilla Åland during a visit to Finström church. A few hand-turned carpenter’s chairs in the sacristy caught his imagination. 

With a few minor changes, such as making it slimmer, increasing the width of the seat and uncurling the turned parts, he designed this pin-back chair, that has been produced by Swedish Stolfabriks AB (today Stolab) since 1942.

Malmsten’s drawings for the chair decorate both the stamp sheet and first day cover and his initials form the first day cancel.