Gerald Summers, 1899-1967 | Armchair
manufactured by Makers of Simple Furniture Ltd., London
single sheet of cut and bent birch plywood
76.5cm. high, 60cm. wide, 84cm. deep; 2ft.5in., 1ft.9½in., 2ft. 7½in.
Conceived circa 1930.
Colour generally consistent and varnish even. Old marks and scratches from wear and use. Bruising to veneers at pressure points. Minor hairline cracks to laminate surface. Recent scratch (3cm) to back. Re-veneering to tips of each foot and other minor veneer-fillet repairs. A rare survivor.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
In Summers' iconic and simple design a single sheet of plywood was cut and bent in two directions, eliminating the need for upholstery and connectors and dispensing with off-cuts. For the same model, see that on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (W.26-1978).
Art and Decoration, November 1934, p. 59;
Architectural Review, December 1935, p. 194;
Thirties: British art and design before the war, exhibition catalogue, Hayward Gallery, 25 October 1979 - 13 January 1980, London, cat. no. 4.77, p. 150;
Derek Ostergard (ed.), Bent Wood and Metal Furniture: 1850-1946, New York, 1987, cat. no. 106, pp. 318-319;
Martin Battersby, The Decorative Thirties, London, 1988, pp. 96-97;
Pioneers of Modern Furniture, exhibition catalogue, Fischer Fine Art, 24 April - 31 May 1991, London, cat. no. 17;
Alexander von Vegesack, Peter Dunas, and Mathias Schwartz-Clauss, (eds), 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum, exhibition catalogue, Weil am Rhein, 1996, pp. 110-111, cat. no. 42;
Doug Ngo and Eric Pfeiffer, Bent Ply: The Art of Plywood Furniture, New York, 2003, p. 114.