When considering Art Deco with regard to antique furniture, and bedroom furniture in particular, we automatically think of geometric looking modernist designs made in varying materials. However it was also a period of revivals. At a time when bedroom furniture was coming very much into its own and manufacturers were eager to satisfy a growing market, much furniture produced during this time harked back to earlier styles, some faithfully following designs by Sheraton for example.
Art Deco however, was a period of the extraordinary in furniture design and examples do not disappoint. Heal & Son in the 1920s and 30s were experimenting with exotic varieties of hardwoods, such as macassar ebony, to create startling geometric veneers.
Other examples of his showed entire bedroom suites covered in sumptuous satins decorated with glass handles and trimmed with braids. The flat plain surfaces of wardrobes were often detailed with geometric sunbursts which reflected the brand of the Art Deco period. Some examples also re-introduced elements of revival where an avant-garde body could be placed on short 18th century cabriole legs creating a rather bizarre hybrid appearance to the piece. There was also a resurgence in the use of walnut during this period too, which added to the period’s many peculiarities.
Art Deco was certainly a time of experimentation and furniture was not just forward looking in design and materials, but also in functionality where it looked very much towards the needs of a growing working population.
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