What are your images, thoughts of the 1920’s ?
The Great Gatsby , Speakeasies, jazz music comes instantly to mind.
The world was celebrating peace and freedom after World War 1 and technology (but not as we now know it ) was forging ahead.
Automobiles were becoming more common, and movies were mass entertainment in the devleoped world.
This started as a boom era in which people were intent on living for the now, throwing convention to the wind and opening the way for new ideas and inventions.
Art Deco is the term for this fashionable style that dominated between the two world wars, Art Deco influenced many spheres of life from art, architecture, fashion and sculpture to furniture design.
The impact Art Deco has left is monumental in architecture alone. In Queensland , the State Government Insurance Building in Brisbane and the Charleville Town Halls are perfect testamony to these, just as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building are iconic symbols in the USA.
Jazz Moderne as Art Deco was also known as the dominant style of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
It became known as Art Deco in the 1960’s when a British Art Critic took the name from the 1925
L’Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris.
The Style was developed in France by over 250 craftman including Jacques_Emile Ruhlmann, Jean Dunand and Rene Lalique. The strong Paris influence led the “machine age aesthetic”in which the flowing floral motifsof Art Noveau were replaced by streamlined geometrical designs, that expressed the efficiency of modern technology.
Excitement over this new French Style was quickly emulated in Italy, Britian other European countries and North America.
Art Deco designers used stepped forms, rounded corners, striped decorative elements and experimented with industrial materials such as metal, plastic as well as the more unusual sharks skin.
The favoured stylish colours of purple, mauve, peach and grey were used to enhance the new sophisticated design.
Experimenting with industrial design elements was a constant in the Art Deco period.
Decorative glass had a formative role in products such as cabinet doors and homes with heavy timbers lightened by the use of glass, were stylised with sunbursts, foliage and various flower species.
Another aspect of Art Deco which is essential in todays design elements is multipurpose design; the original Art Deco furniture was true to their geometric and sleek design and were highly functional as well as representing elegant simplicity.
Think of a headboard with incorporated bed side tables or side cupboards with a lamp stand or cigrette holder doubling as a coffee /occasional table.
The not so humble cocktail cabinet; borne from that wonderful pasttime; the cocktail party , was devleoped to house essential items for a maritini as well as accommodating a gramaphone to play the latest Josephine Baker. Multipurposing at its best.
We have restored many and varied pieces from this era
From the humble occasional table , to the essential vanity unit to the more complex gramaphone , these pieces were carefully and faithfully restored to bring out the best of that era ,as well as using modern practices to ensure they will go on for many more decades
Clients often request design characterstics from this period as well using the crisp symmetrical forms from this era to using timbers reminiscent of this era including birds eye maple . With subtle additions of plain frosted glass instead of the more colourful glass originals the Art Deco mood is enhanced whilst giving each furniture item its own personality .
One of our favourite era’s we relish the opportunity to restore or create pieces of furniture that are reminiscent of this wonderful age, when things were a little simpler.