Prominent cabinet maker and member of the Royal Family, David Linley, was reported as saying in the Financial Times recently:
‘One of the most crucial lessons for any furniture designer (is) if you want to move forward you must first look backwards.’
Linley who has recently co-authored a book on the enduring qualities of beautiful furniture, suggests that
‘every room should have its star piece….. whether an antique, a flea-market find or a modern, iconic collectable.’
His book sets out to answer questions on what makes a star piece of antique furniture by not only discussing upholstery, materials and design, but also discussing general balance and proportion, furniture as works of art, the merit of individually made pieces and how they should be displayed and buying antiques.
Discussions on whether pieces of furniture are actually works of art would certainly take the reader on a retrospective look at the cabinetry of designers such as Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton and provincial designers such as Robert Gillow of Lancaster.
Also a hundred years later, Arts and Crafts designers such as William Morris and Charles Annesley Voysey were designing and creating simply moulded but visually recognisable pieces that linked directly into art and culture where their beauty, form and function promoted a more socialist ideal. Modernist designers such as Stijl, Gropius and the Bauhaus group plus architect designers such as Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe also created a visual statement where clean lines in architecture and furniture post World War One promoted the failure of the old order and the embracing of the new.
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