View full screen - View 1 of Lot 83. Gerald Summers, 1899-1967 | D-end Desk.
83

Gerald Summers, 1899-1967 | D-end Desk

ReservesUK: Greenford Park WarehouseVAT applies to buyers outside the UK

Estimate:

4,000

to
- 6,000 GBP

Gerald Summers, 1899-1967 | D-end Desk

Gerald Summers, 1899-1967 | D-end Desk

Estimate:

4,000

to
- 6,000 GBP

Lot sold:

3,276

GBP

Gerald Summers

1899-1967

D-end Desk


manufactured by Makers of Simple Furniture Ltd., London

birch plywood

with integral storage, removable glass top

71.5cm. high, 133.5cm. wide, 53.5cm. deep; 2ft, 3½in., 4ft, 3¾in., 1ft. 7½in.

Conceived circa 1930.

Generally in good order. Faint impression from previous packaging to the varnished surface (very slight but can be sorted). Left proper corner of top with patch repair (5.5cm. long). Other minor filler repairs throughout, notably at points where ply is pinned. Top drawer with repaired split to face. Stains from use to drawer interiors. Patch repair to lower front left proper (4cm). The piece with typical old marks and scratches as to be expected when material and construction are considered.


Later glass (top): at 0.7cm. high.


"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."

‘Please note that where the buyer is from within the UK the lot is sold with no VAT symbol. Where the buyer resides outside the UK the lot is invoiced as if it bore the “†” symbol.’
Gerald Summers (1899-1967) was at the forefront of British modern design and arguably creative thinking in the 1930s. His designs reflected exciting new materials (most famously plywood), social change and a rejection of unnecessary ornament. Practical and beautiful, his work captured the artistic zeitgeist of this pre-war period and is an important part of great 20th century design.

At 16 years of age, Summers embarked upon an apprenticeship with the engineering firm Ruston and Proctor, which had a lasting impression as they produced moulded plywood fuselages for aircraft. From 1929 onwards, whilst working for Marconi, he also furnished his London flat with his own perfectly engineered designs. These personal pieces were conceived considering function, then material, then form – a doctrine that was to be a constant in his work. He went on to produce furniture for the fashion house Rose and Blairman, a progressive atelier founded in 1929. Early commissions such as this led to a small body of work and, in 1931, the foundation of a company by Summers and his wife Marjorie which they christened ‘Makers of Simple Furniture’. Through advertising sheets and important retailers acquiring work, he became known on both sides of the Atlantic. Collaborations with the architect Oliver Falvey Hill and Jack Pritchard, founder of Isokon, furthered his reputation and an exhibition at the RIBA in 1936 helped bring his designs to a wider audience. His work, some of which is offered here, is an exceptional legacy in the history of British and International design and reflects an early quote by Summers that ‘sight too will be satisfied’.