American, German, 1931-1991
Originally settling in New York to become a bookbinder, Berlin-born Karl Springer applied his unique skill-set to the creation of small, decorative objects covered in fine leathers, skins, and other exotic materials. His unique, handmade designs earned him distinction, which resulted in many fine department stores carrying his pieces, and establishing a steady clientele of high-end collectors. He soon moved into furniture production and became known for his unwavering attention to detail and devotion to uncompromising craftsmanship.
His voracious appetite for design knowledge can be seen in his work, which is influenced by a wide variety of aesthetics, from the more contemporary Bauhaus, to those of ancient China and the Ashanti of Africa.
The chairs, tables, credenzas and other furniture forms Springer created are generally simple, but substantial, often with robust, rounded lines. What sets Springer’s work apart though, is his eye for unusual materials and finishes. He employed Lucite, brass, and gunmetal along with chromed and polished steel, and revived exotic finishes rarely seen since the days of Art Deco: shagreen (a type of sharkskin), python, goatskin, bone, horn, and lacquered parchment.