Richard Meier for Swid Powell Silver Plated Letter Opener
A vintage letter opener / paper knife designed in silver-plate by American architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell in the 1980s.
A vintage letter opener / paper knife designed in silver-plate by American architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell in the 1980s.

Silver Plated Letter Opener by Richard Meier for Swid Powell

Your Price: $295
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Part Number:672
  • Material:Silverplate, Brass
  • Color:Silver, Gold
A vintage letter opener / paper knife with a pierced grid of squares under a spinning brass cube, designed in silver-plate by American architect Richard Meier (b. 1934) for Swid Powell in the 1980s. This desk accessory was an offering from Swid Powell's collection of high-style, functional objects designed by well-known architects, including Meier, Michael Graves, and Robert Venturi. Good condition with shallow scuffs and scratches on the blade and some rubbing/wear to brass finish on cube, measuring 9.63 in. L, marked Swid Powell / RM on one side and MADE IN ITALY / SWID POWELL on the reverse. Literature: Richard Meier's study for this piece is illustrated on page 81 of Swid Powell: Objects by Architects. Author Annette Tapert quotes Time art critic Robert Hughes, describing Meier's "creed of Modernism" as "adapted and refined, but with Le Corbusier's passion for geometric clarity left intact." Meier refers to the cut out squares of his silver designs for Swid Powell creating "scale, in the same way windows and doors lend a scale to buildings." He continues, "Architects are practical people. When I design something, I say to myself, 'I want to use it, I want it to feel rights and I want it to work.' I'm not designing a letter opener to sit on someone's table as an object, I'm designing it to open letters—and if it's not sharp enough to open letters, then I don't want it." Swid Powell was founded in 1982 by Nan Swid and Addie Powell. The company produced stylish and utilitarian home decor objects designed principally by architects.

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