At the recent marvellous Antiques For Everyone fair at the NEC in Birmingham, a friendly dealer approached me with a folder of around 50 photographs of furniture, home accessories, and room designs. Her father was a teacher and had used them in the late 1950s and early 1960s as props for lessons. Since he retired, they had sat forgotten in his loft until she rediscovered them after he died.
I found them fascinating – and turning them over revealed an even more fascinating feature. The backs all bore the names of the designers, manufacturers, and the dates of introduction. Some of the designs I recognised, some I did not. Although the dealer didn’t want much for them, I gave her £20, saying that it could always be donated to charity.
If I’m lucky, I sometimes see such archives on the Antiques Roadshow, and I always advice that, copyright allowing, the owner scans them and posts them online. In some instances, the images are original artworks, and the owners are the children of the designers who created them. The companies they were created for are typically long gone – like the tile company I filmed at the Antiques Roadshow in Hartland Abbey. In those cases I suggest that they compile the images into a book on their father or mother and their work. This suggestion doesn’t usually go down very well, due to the amount of work that requires!
So, I thought I’d practice what I preach, and post the archive I bought online. Hopefully, it’ll help someone somewhere identify their furniture, or learn something more. I’ve divided it into separate blog posts, each covering Seating (here), Home Accessories, Other Furniture, and Room Sets.
What I’d ask you to do is to relax and look closely at each image. Consider the fabrics used for upholstery, the ceramics, books and other accessories on the shelves, what features are brought out in one piece by another placed nearby, and the way pieces have been positioned, both in room sets and in the ‘frame’ of the photograph.
Enjoy. And if you’d like any more information, please email me using the contact form found using the top menu bar. Oh, and I’ve not watermarked them so that you can enjoy them properly. So if you want to use them elsewhere, please have the politeness and decency to ask me first, and credit the image with a link to my site. Thank you!
Also, if the copyright is held by you or your company and you wish me to credit them to you, or take them down, please contact me.