Trading places


Simon Frost

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hello furniture and cabinetmakers! This morning, Tegan and I were both at a bit of a loss for what to write our blogs about – mine for Carving and Tegan’s for F&C. Tegan thought my profile of Ian Norbury in the latest Carving was ‘fantastic’ (great taste has Teegs) and I happened to have seen this beautiful chair at the Brighton Museum at the weekend... so we decided this week we’d have a little swapsie.

This piece dates from 1905 and was made by the legendary Thonet Brothers of Vienna. The Thonets had the patent on bentwood furniture in Europe in the mid-19th century, but they ran into competition with the Kohn Brothers when the patent ran out in 1869. They battled away for many years before the economic slump following the First World War brought the old adage “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” into use, and the rivals merged in 1922. Perhaps their most famous design is the No.14 Chair, the iconic chair to be found in many Parisian cafés, but this beautiful bent and stained beech chair is, for my money, just as stylish.

Derek will be back next week, and now it’s my turn to take the week off! Hope you all enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.


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