Our find of the week

Viva art deco (again...)

Art deco is like Abba and Led Zeppelin. Every decade or so there is a huge revival that sweeps the earth, and then it goes away again. It is such a revolutionary and bold style that it will always come back, but then, after a few years, people become saturated. It packs a punch but lacks the sensibility to hang around, like Danish modernism.

Some versions of it will always be around. There will always be people looking for the big old lounge sets with the armrests that you could land a Boeing on. And there will always be an appetite for amazing pendants and table lamps.
Despite South Africa’s substantial architectural art deco heritage, particularly in Cape Town, Johannesburg, the east Rand, and Durban, it is hard to find art deco furniture that lives up to the glamour of the 1930’s in New York and Paris and the American movies of the time. There is a lot of the more straight-laced post war art deco stuff around, in wood, especially sideboards and other cabinets. But not much of the opulence.
That is why we were so thrilled to find two round, art deco shell back chairs on wooden pedestals in Bellville South that must be close to 90 years old. They still had coconut fibre in the upholstery. These chairs were worthy of us hauling out a luxurious deep red velvet and to put all new walnut veneer on the bases. Viva art deco!


The before and after satisfaction of our find of the week. We found fabric that honour the original look, and the bases were refinished with a new walnut veneer.


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