GERALD SUMMERS HIGH BACK CHAIR - Made by Makers of Simple Furniture (1931-1940)

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Object Description

This remarkable chair has significant presence yet is almost weightless being constructed of 1.5mm aeroplane ply. The back of the chair spreads from a tight curve at the base, constrained by the shape of the seat, to a flexible, gentle sweep at the top. This variable curve is significant historically as it pre-dates the multi-directional curves used by the American designers Charles and Ray Eames some ten years later in the 1940’s. The chair is extremely rare as it retains its original black tinted polish.

Gerald Summers was the most innovative designer in Britain in the 1930’s but his significance is only now being appreciated as emphasis has heretofore been placed upon the achievements of European and Scandinavian architect/designers; ‘Makers of Simple Furniture’ was also a small company, producing mainly to order, without the publicity machine of larger workshops.

Object History

UK Private Collection
Fine Art Society, London

Object Literature

The Design History Journal 1992 Vol.5 No.3 – precis of Masters’ thesis by Martha Deese, Metropolitan Museum New York
Gerald Summers: Furniture For the Concrete Age Dunn and Mantz pub.2012
1000 Chairs Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Cologne 2000 p.232
Design for Today 1934
100 Masterpieces Vitra Design Museum
Furnishing the small Home published London and New York 1930’s by the Studio Ltd.
A History of British Design 1839-1970 Fiona McCarthy pub.1972
Bent Wood and Metal Furniture 1850-1946 University of Washington Press edited by Derek E. Ostergard

Object Details

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By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

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+44 (0)7831 633886
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Dealer Location

London, UK