Details & Cataloguing

The Fine Art Society: 142 Years on New Bond Street


Sir Terence Conran (for Conran Furniture)
stove enamelled square sectioned steel, African walnut, stove enamelled Laconite
114 by 121.9 by 25.1cm.; 44 7/8 by 48 by 9 7/8 in.
Designed and executed circa 1952.
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London, Design Museum, Terence Conran: The Way We Live Now, 16 November 2011 - 4 March 2012


House & Garden, February 1953, p.39 for a similar example
‘Live Better For Less’, House & Garden, May 1953, n.p. for the model in a different colour combination

Catalogue Note

This extremely rare and important ‘S.1’cabinet is from the first group of commercially available furniture designed by the then twenty year old Terence Conran.

Pieces such as this cabinet, although available in the first ‘Conran Furniture’ catalogue, were exclusively made to order and very few are known to exist. Designed in 1952, Conran personally made this first range of furniture with the assistance of Eric O’Leary, a former bronze founder who had previously worked for the sculptor Henry Moore. At that time Conran and O’Leary worked together from a basement workshop rented from the Ballet Rambert in the Notting Hill area of London.

Conran learnt the skill of metal wielding while at his public school, Bryanston. Between 1950 and 1951, he shared a workshop in a railway arch in the Bethnal Green area of London with his close personal friend, former teacher and mentor, the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi. While there Conran importantly taught Paolozzi the process of metal welding.

- Richard Chamberlain and Geoffrey Rayner

The Fine Art Society: 142 Years on New Bond Street