Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Very Resilient Lloyd Loom

Lloyd Loom

For the best part of the past 100 years the very English company that is Lloyd Loom has been recognised throughout Europe as a quality and quite unique furniture maker.
Since the 1920's many furniture designers and manufacturers worldwide have have been inspired by Lloyd Loom and succeeded in reproducing their style, but none of them have been able to match the build quality and composition.
A Classic Lloyd Loom Chair circa 1930 with Custom made Cushion.
Offered By
A Brightly Painted 1970's Lloyd Loom Lamp Table with Glass Top.
Offered By 

A Little History

Lloyd Loom was invented about 100 years ago by Marshall Burns Lloyd an American businessman.

He discovered that by using 2 ingenious methods one of twisting kraft paper around wire and the other of twisting the paper so tightly to form a strong fibre then applying onto steamed bent beech wood frames, it gave the furniture a hard wearing durability and longevity that has kept even some of the most earliest pieces of Lloyd Loom furniture around today. This invention was patented and bought in Europe by Englishman William Lusty.
During the Art Deco period of the 1930's this furniture became hugely popular in the UK, and is still widely associated with that period and for me conjures up images of the classic ocean liners of that time, some of these original and timeless styles are still produced today. Large scale production of Lloyd Loom ceased during WW2 after its large factory in London was bombed and destroyed.

Manufacturing of Lloyd Loom virtually stopped after this time until 1985 when David Breese a Lincolnshire furniture maker who had specialised in reconditioning pre war Lloyd Loom furniture began to experience difficulty in sourcing the popular classic designs.
He open a new factory in Spalding, Lincolnshire England, commissioned new looms based on the original models, mastered the art of steam-bent timber and was soon recreating the original designs once again.
A circa 1920's Lloyd Loom Sofa
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Lloyd Loom Today

Today Lloyd Loom of Spalding have been manufacturing for around 25 years, still using the original methods invented by Marshall Burns Lloyd, obviously over the years they have added a great deal of contemporary designs but have kept all the classics in production. 
 Here's a very small selection of the range they offer at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Many Forms of a Writing Table

What kind of table defines itself as a writing table ??

These days being sat working at the kitchen table is almost an everyday occurrence in many households, in fact I'm practising just that right now..

As more people work from home and the function of a home office becomes evermore the workplace for many, a writing table should come into its own.

Personally when I think of a writing table my mind immediately conjures up an image of a large Victorian mahogany table loaded with drawers, a gold tooled green leather insert all sat upon a set of thick turned legs on large brass castors.
However, obviously there's so much more to writing tables than just that...
An English Early 19th  William IV Mahogany Writing Table.
 (Note the the classic fluted legs, tooled leather insert & brass castors, a perfect example of the time!!)  Offered by
An Italian 18th Century Neo Classical Inlaid Fruitwood Writing Table
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A Little History

It was around the later 1700's and almost a century after the desk had became a regular furniture item that the “Writing” or “Library” table became popular.
These were fine pieces of furniture usually made in mahogany with turned or fluted style legs, a lighter form of desk that enabled the user more freedom of movement without losing precious drawer space.
To begin with the tables were seen mainly in Libraries and homes of the wealthy but gradually as people began to write more correspondence and take care of more of their own clerical work the popularity for these tables grew. Soon they were being made in numerous sizes to suit smaller home studies or libraries. The trend for small ladies writing tables also became popular. 

An English George III Satinwood Writing Desk with Floral Paintwork circa 1800 (Note the delicate floral decoration on all sides, this makes it not just the perfect Ladies table but also the table can be used in many areas not just against a wall.
Offered By

A Few Obvious Things Worth Checking

Look at the back of the piece are there any marks or screwholes where mirror supports were mounted, these are hard to disguise and usually a sure sign it was a dresser.
Remove all the drawers and look inside, this may sound strange but you can tell a great deal about case furniture by looking “inside”. Look up for holes in the top that have been filled and hidden under the leather insert this would give another clue of it being a dresser, maybe trinket drawers were once sat on the top another tell tale sign it didn't start life as a writing table.
Lastly and this sounds the most obvious, but sit at it, is it the right height ? Do you have enough “clearance” for your knees to sit comfortably at it for an hour or 3 ?
Above -  A Victorian Mahogany Dressing Table easily "Stripped Down" a Leather insert added and quickly could become a "Writing Table"
Below - An Original Victorian Mahogany Writing Table, (Note the very close similarities & style)
Both pictures courtesy of  Antiques Atlas

A Few more of my Favourites
An English Kidney Shaped Writing Table in Mahogany Circa 1820.
Offered By
A Swedish Painted Writing Table circa 1900's
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A Robert Marcius Tessellated Fossil Stone Writing Table  USA circa 1970's
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Robert Marcius Tessellated Fossil Stone WritingRobert Marcius Tessellated Fossil Stone Writing

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Global Classic Accessory

12" diameter Bluewater and classic Greenwater Globes, Offered by

Being somewhat of a traditionalist when it to comes to all things furniture and interior spaces I always enjoy seeing at least one classic piece in every room.
 When it comes to a library/reading space or a home office its no different, and I think one of the most eye catching & classic accessories is a globe. As well as just another accessory a well made globe can become a family heirloom passed down through future generations.
American Globe on Stand circa 1830, offered by

A Little History
 Okay so without getting too technical the 2 most popular types of globe are the terrestrial and the celestial.
The terrestrial globe is a sphere that maps the geological formation of the earth, the average scale for a terrestrial globe is around 5 million.
The celestial globe shows the stars and constellations, they are mapped onto the sphere to show how they appear in the sky at night when viewed from earth.

The oldest surviving globe on record is the "Erdapfel" terrestrial globe dating back to 1492 and accredited to Martin Behaim a German mariner & geographer.

The "Erdafel" circa 1490 by Martin Beheim (Pic courtesy of Pirkheimer) 
Globes Today
Typically today there are mass-produced globes that are plastic spheres covered by a printed paper map and in my opinion more suitable maybe for a child's bedroom or preferably a classroom.
 Then we move into a very different league to globes produced by craftmen using many of the traditional methods that have been around for centuries. The fine papers applied to the spheres are cut into long thin strips that narrow to a point, these are known as "Gores".  Once cut these are laid vertically from the North Pole to the South Pole, then a small round piece of paper is laid at each end to cover any irregularities which inevitably occur. The more "gores" there are the less stretching or crumpling is required to help the paper fit the sphere.
Their mounts either being floor standing or desk size are nearly always made by master cabinet makers. The finished article is usually superb.

A Globe in the process of being restored at Greaves & Thomas

Fully coloured and restored

One of the finest globemakers and globe restorers in the UK and possibly the world is a company called Greaves & Thomas. 
This is a very modest but exceptional company, the quality of both their restoration work and  reproduction work really is second to none hence many of their finest examples sit in museums throughout the world.
Also I have once had the privilege of being invited to their workshops and it was a true learning experience for me.
I want to show just a few of the range they produce including modern and even themed globes, the detail and work involved just fascinates me, I want one to keep !!

Charles Copley's Terrestrial globes enlarged to 21" diameter on reclaimed mahogany stand.
Offered by

A wonderfully decorative Greaves & Thomas' hand coloured 33" diameter Alice Globe on Staunton white queen base.
Offered by