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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If you wait, it will come

People say all the time...and it's true...that if you wait long enough, you'll eventually identify the piece of furniture whose designer is eluding you.

Back in 2010, we started acquiring inventory for the store we planned to open in early 2011. We lucked upon a local auction house importing English teak pieces, which routinely went at a price we could afford. In the early days of the store, they were our bread and butter. A few were marked G-Plan or Remploy, but most weren't marked at all, and we never identified the majority of them.

As the store grew, our clientele began requesting more Danish pieces. At that same time, more and more people found out about the auction, and the prices they were getting skyrocketed. Even so, the auction house went out of business, so we said goodbye to the English pieces without ever learning much about them.

Recently I was surprised and delighted to run across an article about Frank Guille (1926-1997) and find out that he designed many of the pieces we sold in the early days of Mid2Mod. In the 1940s, Guille trained under Robin Day and John Cole at the Beckenham School of Art. After serving in the Royal Navy, he studied furniture design at the Royal College of Art under Gordon Russell. He received a scholarship in 1950 to travel to Copenhagen to work with Kaare Klint.

Guille set up his on design practice in 1953, boasting clients such as Heal and Sons, West of Scotland and Austinsuite. His strongest body of work was for Kandya, who commissioned him to restyle a stacking chair, which had been designed by Carl Jacobs in 1950. The redesigned Jason chair was so successful that Guille worked with Kandya until 1976. While there, he designed a range of modular Trimma kitchen units of exceptional quality.

From 1960 to 1992, Guille was at the Royal College of Art, first as a lecturer, then as a senior lecturer and finally as head of the Furniture Design department.

From homespunvintagedesign.co.uk



Desk for Austinsuite
ebay.co.uk - doorfortyfour

Stools
vintageretro.co.uk

Record cabinet for Kandya
lawsonpark.org

Jason chair
ebay.co.uk - lovelyandcompany

Credenza
mrbigglesworthy.co.nz

Barstools for Kandya
liveauctioneers.com

Console for Austinsuite
fearsandkahn.co.uk

Austinsuite sideboard
ebay.com - eclectic-rooms-design

Trimma cabinets for Kandya
ebay.com - firest4r

Room divider
sworder.co.uk

14 comments:

  1. Great pieces Dana. Love the stools, and the Credenza and Sideboard.

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    1. We sold a ton of those credenzas and sideboards when we first opened for business! At the very, very beginning, we were getting them for $50-100 at the local auction and selling them for $300-400. By the time we quit carrying teak pieces like this from the UK, they were bringing $500-700 at the same auction.

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  2. As always, fabulous eye candy! Love it all, but love the Jason chair and the console best.

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  3. Just delicious! I mean it, they made my mouth water just looking at their loveliness.

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  4. I kept scrolling ... waiting for a blahhh piece... and there' wasn't one! They're ALL gorgeous. The little record cabinet is too cute and the credenza's are to die for. The trimma cabinets remind me so much of all the built-ins that were in our home when we bought it. Of course NONE of them were this beautifully built but the sliders and drawers inside are oh-so-familiar. Love seeing it all. You guys have the best inventory... then, and now!

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    1. These were really nice pieces for the money in the early days. The craftsmanship wasn't quite as top-notch as you'd find in, say, a Wegner piece, but they were a great way for us to get into the business, and lots of our customers were able to buy very pretty pieces at a low price.

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  5. Most of all, I love the yellow cabinet!

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  6. Gorgeous, Dana! How great that you solved the mystery, there's no greater feeling! I adore the brightly colored stools, the room divider and the console with the yellow front!

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  7. The stools. In my imaginary remodeled kitchen, they would be perfect.

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    1. You might as well go ahead and do the kitchen. It's completely planned already. :)

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