Tucked away in a tiny mews, just three streets away from my house, is a veritable Aladin’s cave full of vintage mid-century furniture. Considering it’s less than a 10 minute walk from my door to that of The Modern Warehouse, it’s rather appalling I’ve not visited until now.
And oh my, it was every bit as good, if not better than I’d imagined. I think the first words out of my mouth when I walked in were ‘wow, super-elliptical’ as I was greeted with the sight of this beautiful 1971 Fritz Hansen super-elliptical table (designed by Arne Jacobsen, Piet Hein and Bruno Mathsson in rosewood with matching Series 7 chairs placed round it.
It’s sold as a set for £4,950.00 and is well worth every penny, not least because these items are no longer manufactured in rosewood. Additionally, the table has been covered for most of its life, so the top is in the most wonderful condition and has developed the most incredible patina, as have the chairs.
I also love how worn down the ferrules on the chair legs are, something that can easily be replaced too.
Just behind the table is this Hans Wegner Ox chair produced by AP Stolen. (Now Erik Jorgensen hold the license.) I’ve only ever seen these chairs upholstered in leather, so I was really quite thrilled to see one that has been re-upholstered in fabric and with a leather trim. Indeed, I think it’s far more appealing because in this softer finish.
How lovely is this string shelving system in teak and Hans Wegner dining set (consisting of a teak table and CH33 chairs in beech and tea). On the table sits a PH 3/2 table lamp by Louis Poulsen. (I think this is the correct size, it’s not on their website for me to clarify.) In the left hand corner, a Hans Bolling tray table can just be seen.
Hanging in the centre of the room, in front of the staircase was a Louis Poulsen copper Artichoke light, underneath which was a Hans Wegner teddy bear chair, something I’ve never seen in the flesh until now. In the far corner was a PH50 pendant in red. (Sadly it’s not on their website and I forgot to take a photograph but it’s so much nicer than the newer one I’ve linked to.) At the bottom of the stairs is a set of Grand Prix chairs.
I was rather pleased to see this Oxford chair for a few (silly) reasons. Firstly, it’s actually the 50th anniversary of St Catherine’s College Oxford and also the chair itself. As part of the anniversary celebrations, Fritz Hansen re-launched the chair in wood veneer with front upholstery and at present, we have this orange upholstered one in the Fritz Hansen showroom, so I rather loved that this chair was also upholstered in orange fabric!
While I was upstairs pottering round, I was able to hear one of the owners (I’m not sure which one) in conversation with a client and his knowledge and enthusiasm was palpable. What I most liked about him was how he didn’t lecture something that’s all to easy to do and a terrible habit I often witness others do in the course of my working day.
As some of you know, I’m lucky enough to work with one of the most prominent and iconic of all the Danish furniture manufacturers, in an incredibly beautiful showroom. It’s a very rare thing for me to walk into a furniture store and be totally blown away by what I see (and hear), indeed, I’ve been to other dealers in the past and haven’t been particularly impressed be it by the pieces on offer or most usually, the dealers themselves. The prices are also surprisingly reasonable which makes it all the more annoying that I’m not currently in a position to buy anything. My (new) Swan chair aside, I would love to furnish my house with a few careful sourced pieces of mid-century pieces, so walking into The Modern Warhouse almost made me cry, in a good way, naturally. It truly is a little piece of vintage mid-century furniture heaven.
There were several things I’d have gladly purchased if I had both the means and a place to put them, and in no particular order, here they are -
My appreciation of Danish sideboards started a few years ago after a trip to Sigmar and deepened when a client of mine ordered a Brødrene Andersen Bykato sideboard. This Hans Wegner rose wood sideboard is one of the nicest I’ve seen to date. And I want it!
It’s common knowledge that when it comes to sofas, I’m all about the de Padova’s Raffles sofa. I’m also not a massive fan of wooden framed sofas although I do love the aesthetic of Ercol’s studio couch. However, I’d gladly have this Hans Wegner Cigar sofa. Maybe I was seduced by the fact it was grey, I don’t know, I think it was more that it’s such a neat little sofa, one that’s far more comfortable than I imagined a wooden framed sofa to be.
And last but not least -
This beautiful set of 4 1972 Grand Prix chairs by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen are a reasonable £995.00. If you were to buy a new set of these, they’d cost £1,688.00 in black lacquer and £1,240.00 in black coloured ash. Personally, it’s no competition as to which set I’d rather have in my home.
NOTES AND OTHER STUFF
The Modern Warehouse is only open by appointment although it is open for browsing every Saturday. It’s well worth visiting if you’re able to. Additionally their website, while a little frustrating to navigate*, is excellent and updated regularly. The also have an archive section featuring all the pieces they’ve sold.
The Modern Warehouse
3 Trafalger Mews
*I think it would be easier to navigate if the furniture section was divided into sub-sections.
All images my own.
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