The Pedestal Shop currently features three mid-century modern items of furniture, from a single owner collection assembled by a film director and his model wife in the 1960s. With their understated elegance, each of these pieces alone would be the inevitable star in an interior space. Here we explore this trio from the 1960s – a unique design decade which shook up the long-standing, traditional approach to home furnishing and decorating.
Although the term ‘mid-century modern’ might have become wide-ranging in recent years, applied as it can be to architecture, accessories, materials, graphic design, technologies and furniture, its aesthetic continues to be hugely popular, influential and sought after. Running from the end of World War II in 1945 until around the close of the ‘60s, the look puts function at the heart of the item, its elements stripped back and devoid of embellishment or decoration. Specifically, the Scandinavian style with its simplicity and practicality was an obvious go-to source for mid-century modern furniture designs.
This 1960s rosewood, brass and white veined marble sideboard was designed by Robert Heritage for Archie Shine Ltd. Both the designer and manufacturer are British, however, from the late 1950s Archie Shine pioneered the Scandinavian style in Britain when the elegant low and long lines of the Danish look were increasingly in demand and replacing more traditional forms. Rosewood, along with teak and afromosia, was favoured and frequently used in furniture. In true mid-century fashion, other than focusing on the sideboard’s sleek structure, the eye is drawn to the magnificent rosewood grain which truly shines. The marble top provides a gorgeous contrast, and, again, faithful to the ethos, it’s thoroughly practical. Hard-wearing brass has been utilised over many centuries for drawer handles and knobs, frequently styled into decorative motifs, but, here the handles are recessed and are almost unseen, so maintaining the overall smooth and flat appearance of the sideboard.
John Mortensen’s 1960s extending dining table is wonderfully ingenious and clever – without its leaves it seats four, with V-shaped legs forming a neat pedestal beneath, and, when extended it becomes a serious dining venue, and, the legs are still unobtrusive. This piece is also made from rosewood and its grain is used to stunning effect. John Mortensen’s career took off when the mid-century modern movement was well underway – he was a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and found his niche in designing dining, office and living room furniture for both Danish and international furniture manufacturers. Heltborg Møbler, based in Fredericia, was founded in the early 1950s, the firm’s output focused on dining and coffee tables by Danish designers.
Lastly, a set of six 1960s rosewood and upholstered dining chairs, attributed to Heltborg Møbler. Whilst the designer might have to remain a mystery there is no mistaking the chairs’ adherence to the precise lines of mid-century modern. With elegantly tapered and projecting legs the shaped top rails again allow the rosewood grain to gleam. Chairs could not feasibly be more minimal in this ‘less is more’ design. Nevertheless, what we do know is that this set of six chairs was purchased new in the 1960s to accompany the John Mortensen Heltborg Møbler dining table.
Find out more about these mid-century modern pieces at The Pedestal Shop here.
We would be delighted to hear from you should you have enquiries about either buying or consigning at The Pedestal Shop.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)207 281 2790