Neil Morris joined his fathers well establish furniture making company in Scotland in 1938. With him he brought many new ideas for utilising the new techniques available for laminating plywood. His designs were influenced by much of the new modernist furniture he witnessed from Scandinavia. H.Morris specialised in making very thick plywood forms and were prepared to push the material to its limits, thus creating many new and innovative forms that were on the cutting edge of modernist design.
“Buoyed by a reputation for excellence, the company, with Neil Morris at the helm, set about wowing the world in yet another way – cutting edge contemporary design. With post-war rationing placing constraints on manufacturing through a necessity to use lightweight materials, furniture production required something of a creative shot in the arm, and once again the eyes of the industry looked to Morris Furniture for inspiration. Whilst other companies saw the situation as a problem, the visionary Neil Morris saw only an opportunity to alter people’s perceptions of furniture design. The result was the iconic Cloud table – a piece which won numerous design awards and still occupies a proud position today in New York’s prestigious Guggenheim museum alongside the celebrated Bambi Chair. Following the success and recognition of the cloud table, Morris Furniture experienced a period of steady growth within the furniture sector. Branching out in to additional areas as diverse as the leisure, commercial, and educational sectors, the firm demonstrated its unrivalled versatility…There was a sense of inclusion that everyone should be able to enjoy the great style and craftsmanship that came with every Morris Furniture product. This was brought further to the attention of the masses in 1958 when the company was actively involved in the promotion of all that was great and good with British furniture in the Festival of Britain”
Model E90, lacquered plywood birch stacking stool. Designed 1933 – Finmar label
This is an early and rare version of this iconic 1930s design.
Finmar were a wholesale company who imported Aalto design plywood furniture from Finland to the UK during the early c20th. The Finmar label is one of the few ways of certifying an early version of this stool.
In very good condition.
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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.
Model E90, plywood birch stacking stool. Designed 1933
This is an early and rare version of this iconic 1930s design.
Finmar were a wholesale company who imported Aalto design plywood furniture from Finland to the UK between 1934-65. H.G.Dunn & Sons were one of the few furniture retailers supplied by Finmar from the 1930s. (the UK had very few retailers of modernist furniture at that time)
This stool retains its original label for H.G.Dunn & Sons, House furnishers Bromley.
This is a rare version with upholstered seat. It retains its original blue fabric (although a section is missing as seen).
Between 1925 and 1955 influenced by the Dutch Modernist De Stijl painters and designers Ko Verzuu designed many children’s toys. His designs were inextricably bound up with innovations in art, health care and pedagogy in the first half of the 20th century. In 1920, the sanatorium Berg en Bosch was founded in the sanctuary on the outskirts of Apeldoorn. This sanatorium offered rest and care to tuberculosis patients.
Once patients had recovered from their illness, returning to regular working life often proved to be difficult. In order to prepare patients better for their reintegration, the sanatorium developed a modern treatment: occupational therapy.
One of the ways this took shape was in the production of wooden toys. These toys were given the name ADO; an abbreviation that initially stood for Arbeid door Onvolwaardigen (Labour by the Deficient), but was wisely changed to Apart Doelmatig Onverwoestbaar (Special Functional Indestructible) in 1962.
These chairs are examples of the more seldom seen larger scaled furniture made by ADO.
In the vein of autonomous maker-designers like Gerrit Rietveld, Coen De Vries was one of the first Dutch interior architects to sell and produce their own designs. He began in 1947 with his shop “De Sleutel” (The Key) in Amsterdam. At ‘The Key’ he was able to retail designs by himself alongside those of other modernist designers whose designs focussed on lightwood furniture with simple construction. At the shop their sober and simple designs were often set off alongside brightly coloured fabrics.
This plywood and steel storage box encapsulates those of the Dutch post war ‘Goed Wonen’ (good living) foundation whose goal was to create good, practical, modern and aesthetically pleasing furniture at an affordable prices.
The box is composed of double-sided hinged lids that opens to reveal a sectioned interior (removable). It retains its original blue and off-white paint. Tetex produced the design in a range of colours: Red, white, yellow, blue and black. The legs were either in white or grey.
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