P1230227

Marcel Breuer (Hungary/usa 1902-1981)

Two stacking cream white lacquered plywood side tables. Isokon UK.

Designed in 1936 Breuer whilst in the UK began to explore plywood as a material. During that period Breuer designed several classic modernist pieces that were put into production by Jack Pritchard of Isokon.

Manufactured in the 1950s/60s.

We also have one other single table available.

 

POA.

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Marcel Breuer (Hungarian, 1902-1981)

Isokon Long Chair (early 1960s production) – Upholstered plywood

The Hungarian-born, modernist architect and furniture designer was one of the masters of Modernism. Breuer extended the sculptural vocabulary he had developed in the carpentry shop at the Bauhaus into a personal architecture that made him one of the world’s most popular architects at the peak of 20th-Century design.

Breuer came to Britain in the mid-1930s following the closure of the Bauhaus by the Nazis. He became acquainted with Jack Pritchard the owner of Isokon, who suggested he design furniture for the company. Pritchard had become interested in the plywood designs of Alvar Aalto and wanted to produce similar furniture himself. The Long Chair was an adaptation of a previous design for an aluminium framed chaise Breuer had produced in 1932.

The Long Chair was designed by Breuer for the British Isokon company in 1935-36 and is considered one of the most important pieces of furniture to emerge from the inter-war modern movement.

In 1968, Pritchard licensed John Alan Designs, based in Camden, London to produce the Long Chair – John Alan manufactured the chair according to larger measurements in order to make the chair more 60s-friendly. This chair is thought to pre-date that period as it still retains the older smaller measurements. The upholstery is showing distinct signs of age and use.

http://www.merzbau.co.uk

website: http://www.merzbau.vpweb.co.uk

POA.

1790

P1210794

 

Anonymous (U.K. 1920s-30s)

Small constructivist plywood side table

We are still researching this small table. It has similarities to various under-appreciated early British modernist designer/makers from the early c20th including Gerald Summers, Isokon/ Jack Pritchard etc. and captures the spirit of the early British constructivist architects and artists.

A handful of designer/makers like Summers and Isokon used plywood before the WWII. Unlike most other furniture makers of the day, they did not feel compelled to cover it in a veneer of a more exotic wood. In the early 30s Summers began to experiment with a special kind of plywood called “aeroplane ply” and, as Martha Deese wrote in the Journal of Design History, “this exceptionally thin and flexible material had a revolutionary impact on Summers’s emerging style” (Martha Deese, “Gerald  Summers and Makers of Simple Furniture,” Journal of Design History, vol. 5, no. 3 (1992), pp. 183–205). During the period plywood enabled designers to evolve an organic idiom of curved surfaces and curvilinear outlines, which exploited the inherent capabilities of this pliable material. (*Cerio,2009)

The base of its sculptural design is made from 3mm aeroplane ply. The top that swivels around the base in three section can be folded away or left up as shown. The top is a thicker plywood.

54cm High x 55cm diameter.

POA.

http://www.merzbau.co.uk

website: http://www.merzbau.vpweb.co.uk

*Information on Summers gained from Gergory Cerio whose article ‘Bold, Bright and Unappreciated can be found at:- http://themagazineantiques.com/article/british-furniture-at-mid-century/

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isobar_115f832b-188f-4048-b13b-4d98591d123e
Marcel Breuer & FRS Yorke, Isobar restaurant 1937

 Walter Gropius (German, 1883-1969) redesign of Isokon plywood table/stool 1930s

A stool/table with removable tray top, manufactured by the Venesta Plywood Company, Estonia, 193os for Isokon, UK.

The stools were originally designed for the ‘Isobar’ restaurant/lounge within the modernist Lawn Road flats, London (see image). The Isobar restaurant was realised in 1937 after the communal kitchen in the building was converted to a design by Marcel Breuer and F.R.S.Yorke from the Modern Architectural Research Group (the MARS group). Trays were made for some of the stools so that customers cold take the tray to the bar when fetching drinks.

Alistair Greave’s 2004 book Isokon for Ease for Ever describes this rare variation of the plywood stools as having tighter designed cut out shapes than the regular versions seen in the image of the Isobar. He attributes this adaptation of the design to Walter Gropius who during the mid-1930s was in exile in London working for the Isokon group alongside British architects like Maxwell Fry and others. Their designs continued the dogmas of modernist ethics begun earlier at the Bauhaus; simplicity, economy and aesthetic beauty.

It retains its original circular tray built with a thinner plywood edge (they normally always have thicker edged trays to prevent warping) The thin edge is thought to have been part of Gropius’s redesign that may not have been put into production because of the structural difficulties. Both sections are marked by Venesta (the Estonian company employed by Pritchard to manufacture the Isokon plywood furniture)

Currently not available.

http://www.merzbau.co.uk

website: http://www.merzbau.vpweb.co.uk

please click on the Merzbau logo (top left) to see all of our current listings.

Marcel Breuer (Hungarian, 1902-1981)

Isokon Long Chair (early 1960s production) – Upholstered plywood

The Hungarian-born, modernist architect and furniture designer was one of the masters of Modernism. Breuer extended the sculptural vocabulary he had developed in the carpentry shop at the Bauhaus into a personal architecture that made him one of the world’s most popular architects at the peak of 20th-Century design.

Breuer came to Britain in the mid-1930s following the closure of the Bauhaus by the Nazis. He became acquainted with Jack Pritchard the owner of Isokon, who suggested he design furniture for the company. Pritchard had become interested in the plywood designs of Alvar Aalto and wanted to produce similar furniture himself. The Long Chair was an adaptation of a previous design for an aluminium framed chaise Breuer had produced in 1932.

The Long Chair was designed by Breuer for the British Isokon company in 1935-36 and is considered one of the most important pieces of furniture to emerge from the inter-war modern movement.

In 1968, Pritchard licensed John Alan Designs, based in Camden, London to produce the Long Chair – John Alan manufactured the chair according to larger measurements in order to make the chair more 60s-friendly. This chair is thought to pre-date that period as it still retains the older smaller measurements. The upholstery is showing distinct signs of age and use.

POA.

http://www.merzbau.co.uk

website: http://www.merzbau.vpweb.co.uk

please click on the Merzbau logo (top left) to see all of our current listings.