A famous brand does not always guarantee quality of workmanship. Mid-century modernism came into full swing in the optimistic post-war 1950’s. It was the time of the American dream – the believe that anyone, regardless of social standing, could, through determination and hard work, reach their idea of success.
Mass production of well-designed furniture made this ideal closer. Suddenly, middle class people could surround themselves with great design and pretty things, and it became affordable! The inconvenient truth is that the build quality of some of these amazing looking branded mid-century pieces were… how shall we put it… marginal. Yes, even the Scandinavian ones. The use of thin veneers on composite boards became the rule. Let’s just be clear – a proper veneer on a quality piece of chipboard is not in itself a problem – but some of the veneers became paper thin and some of the joints prone to break in no time. These are also a nightmare to restore.
That’s why we at Huisraad Modern are excited whenever certain South African mid-century brands come into our workshop. Foremost amongs these is E.E. Meyer, closely associated with the Binnehuis brand – one brand that always guarantees quality.
Mr. Gerhardt Meyer, who only passed away in July last year, refused to bow to these fashions. A top cabinet maker and designer, he continued producing furniture of the highest quality. This week, we feature a Binnehuis sideboard of which 80% is solid imbuia. Solid hardwood furniture pieces of this size from the 1960’s are almost impossible to find. And it is becoming harder.
So if you have a Binnehuis piece, try to hang on to it. It will serve you another 60 or more years.