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I n 1931, young Swiss designer Willy Guhl sent out postcards written in German with an image of sleek white porcelain tableware, saying, "Please come to my Christmas exhibition at the Kunstgewerbemuseum [Museum of Decorative Arts in Zurich]. You will find the perfect gift among my ceramics for even the most spoiled of tastes." He was 16 years old. Guhl went on to become a pioneer of industrial design in Switzerland, combining innovative production model of minimal, low-slung chic, the Loop is considered a milestone in design history for its innovative production technique. Originally manufactured by materials company Eternit, the Loop chair was made from a single continuous ribbon of cement reinforced with asbestos. The material was formed into a loop around a wooden mold before hardening, resulting in a chair whose production had zero waste. In the late 1990s, the chair was reissued as the Guhl Stuhl, using asbestos-free fiber cement. They are still available today from Eternit ($960 retail). Guhl's interest in the strong and durable material of the Loop chair led him to develop a wide range of outdoor products, including planters, seating, and even doghouses. One of his most beloved planters was the Diablo hourglass design — two organic cones joined by an implausibly slender center section. At one point, these elegant planters were found in many public spaces in Switzerland and Italy, but fell from favor in the 1980s. Now, however, Guhl is experiencing a renaissance, and weathered Diablo planters, along with his blocky cube planters and harder-to-find handkerchief planter, are highly collectible in L.A. and Palm Springs, and have been spotted in the fields at the Round Top Antiques Fair. Prices have risen exponentially; expect to pay $500 to $4,000 for an original Guhl planter, or $2,500 to $8,000 for an original Loop chair. In Dallas, you'll find Willy Guhl at, backrowhome. com,, methods with a passion for ergonomic design. In the 1940s, he and his brother Emil began taking plaster casts of the backsides of seated people, trying to find the ideal anatomical s h a p e f o r a c h a i r. G u h l used these casts in the design of his groundbreaking Scobalit chair, the first plastic shell chair in Europe. Scobalit chairs are nearly impossible to find on the market, as they were originally produced in a limited quantity due to production constraints in Europe in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Arguably Guhl's most famous design is the Loop, an iconic chair from a century crowded with them. (The Museum of Modern Art has one in its design collection.) A nonchalant Willy Guhl Biomorphic planter $2,400 Diablo Hourglass planter $1,200, and Tilted planter $1,500, all 1950s Swiss, from Susan Horne Antiques Willy Guhl Handkerchief planter, Swiss 1930s, $2,400, at Willy Guhl low planter, Swiss 1930s, pair $9,500, at 50

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