20th century furniture at 18 Davies Street Gallery

23 July, 2018 1:07 pm

From art deco glamour to the radical 80s, the twentieth century was a hotbed for interior design.

During the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution overhauled the way we lived, shopped, and decorated our homes. This lifestyle revolution laid the foundations for people to stretch their creative legs inside their own dwelling spaces. Form and function began to blend, as interior decoration became simultaneously more accessible and more Haute Couture.

Armand-Albert Rateau - Carved oak desk chair - 20th century furniture

Armand-Albert Rateau – Carved oak desk chair

The curators at 18 Davies Street Gallery have put together some of the best 20th century furniture from France and Italy to help tell this story.

Armand-Albert Rateau - Jeanne Lanvin's personal desk - 20th century furniture

Armand-Albert Rateau – Jeanne Lanvin’s personal desk

The result is a smorgasbord of fine living, with beautiful pieces including fashion house founder Jeanne Lanvin’s oak writing desk from the 1920s. Its accompanying desk chair is made from oak with gilt bronze handles; an appropriate level of luxury for the doyenne of Haute Couture. Both the table and chair were created bespoke for her in the early 1920s by Armand-Albert Rateau while he was undertaking major redecorations of her apartment, homes and businesses.

Nicknamed ‘Table Camembert’, Maria Pergay’s two-seat Tambour table also makes an appearance. Wedge-shaped, ergonomic seats give it a distinctive look reminiscent of her renowned 1968 exhibition in Paris.

Maria Pergay - Two-seat Tambour Table - 20th century furniture

Maria Pergay – Two-seat Tambour Table

Another notable highlight is the selection of Milanese armchairs. A particularly beautiful pair of chairs was formed in 1932 by Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Enrico Peressutti, Gianluigi Banfi, and Ernesto Nathan Rogers in the BBPR studio. The firm was a major contributor to the post-war Italian architecture and modern design movement.

BBPR studio - Pair of armchairs - 20th century furniture

BBPR studio – Pair of armchairs

Some of our other favourite pieces in the exhibition include the Cordouan alabaster and polished copper floor lamps. One of the lamps, made by Eric Schmitt, takes its inspiration from Romanesque architecture, placing aesthetic emphasis on geometry and curves. Blending form and function, this designer saw his pieces as works of art as much as functional objects.

Eric Schmitt - Cordouan floor lamp - 20th century furniture

Eric Schmitt – Cordouan floor lamp

For visitors who want to see some more traditional artworks, Jean Pierre Pincemin’s minimalist paintings are sure to please. He was one of the foremost artists who successfully brought American Abstract Expressionism together with a more classic French style. These paintings were created after Pincemin’s involvement with the Supports/Surfaces movement – large, abstract canvases exploring the tonal relationship between blocks of colour. Peaceful and classical, they’re the perfect backdrop for the lavish 20th century furniture on display.

Jean-Pierre Pincemin - Untitled - 20th century furniture

Jean-Pierre Pincemin – Untitled

Where to find 20th century furniture for your home

Our team at Rachel Laxer Interiors is well-versed in seeking out exceptional pieces like this for residential homes or commercial properties. Click here to get in touch.