Furniture | Need To Now

A feast of midcentury design, cakes and Pimm’s

The Midcentury Modern show moves to a grand new venue

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A feast of midcentury design, cakes and Pimm’s

Image: Firefly House

May 13 2011
Dominic Lutyens

Since it was founded in 2003 by Lucy Ryder Richardson and Petra Curtis, the Midcentury Modern show has become a legendary diary date for 20th-century design enthusiasts. “Lucy and I moved into 1960s homes in south London in the early Noughties,” says Curtis, “and we wanted to buy 1960s furniture but discovered there was a dearth of midcentury outlets south of the river. One weekend, Lucy held a sale of midcentury furniture from her home, and everything sold out.”

Now, the event is going to take place for the first time in north London – on Sunday May 15, at The Nursery Pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground. It’s hardly surprising that this is a burgeoning venture: after all, the trend for midcentury furniture is ongoing.

This event is not just for purists; while 40 dealers will sell pieces by midcentury design titans such as Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner, contemporary garden-furniture designers, such as Chris Eckersley and Alex Moore, will also sell their work. So too will upcyclers – companies that upgrade and give a new lease of life to discarded objects. One of these, Styling and Salvage, will tout a cabinet made of reclaimed drawers from a 1940s desk and a 1950s sideboard (£1,250), another, Black & Perry, a 1950s petrol pump ingeniously transformed into a drinks cabinet (£3,200).

Midcentury design highlights include Jacobsen’s iconic 1957 Swan chair in a brown leather (£2,450) evocatively called cognac – “the most desirable colour of leather”, according to its dealer at The Modern Warehouse. Also on show will be Firefly House’s Alvar Aalto Model 44 chair (first picture, £3,995) and Charles and Ray Eames’s DSW chairs (£275 each), as well as Gråsilver striking Scandinavian jewellery such as a 1960s Georg Jensen sterling-silver armring (second picture, £1,700).

The entire occasion is fittingly nostalgic – and, naturally, a cricket tea with cakes and Pimm’s will be available as an extra.