The image above of a Danish condiments set paired with a 1960s Smiths clock sitting on a Gordon Russell of Broadway sideboard in teak, laurel and beech encapsulates well one of the significant themes of our 2020 show. Set against a period Heal’s Teazel curtain designed by Jane Daniels, the group exemplifies the popularity and impact of Scandi style in the British interiors scene of the 50s and 60s.
As a general rule, Scandinavia did not go through as pervasive a period of industrialised manufacture as the UK in the 19th century, and traditions of hand making and original craft infused design remained strong there into the 20th century. Additionally, whilst parts were badly affected by the Nazi scourge, modern movement design in craft quality making remained proactive in the 50s at a time when our own homeland was still gripped by rationing and post WW2 rebuilding.
For whatever reason, fresh looking, stylish and quality made Scandi interior furnishings became very popular in Britain, establishing a trend that influenced the production of traditional furniture firms like Russells and Gibbs. This may be evidenced by the photos of a 60s Gordon Russell sideboard (above) and chest of drawers (below), the latter paired with John Piper’s Stones of Bath.