Dutch designer Dick Cordemeijer is best known for designing the famous Cleopatra Daybed (1953) for Auping. Limited verifiable information is available about him today—particularly because some biographical facts have become conflated with those of his contemporary A. R. Cordemeyer to whom Cordemeijer’s designs are often mistakenly attributed. One theory suggests that their biographical facts are conflated because Dick Cordemeijer changed his name to André Cordemeyer after working for Auping.
It is believed that in 1952 Cordemeijer was hired as a technician by the mattress manufacturer Auping. Designing in the postwar boom era, Auping—which was originally founded in 1888 and known at the time for its innovative steel mattress production—began to collaborate with renowned Dutch designers, including Friso Kramer (b. 1922), Wim Rietveld (1924-1985), and Frans de la Hayes (b. 1943). In 1953, Cordemeijer designed the infamous Cleopatra Daybed, which Auping produced until 1982. Minimalist in design, the Cleopatra was inexpensive to produce. Featuring a wire mesh base and a coated metal frame with solid teak ends, the design became an instant classic and remains one of Auping’s most successful designs to date, having sold over a million models worldwide. Although he designed alongside many prolific designers and other luminaries, the Cleopatra was Cordemeijer’s one and only. In 2008, to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Auping, the company created a special anniversary edition of the Cleopatra.