Latest news

Welcome to the 20th Century Furnishing Latest News section where we will post regular updates on featured furniture, events and more.

Recent blog posts

Posted on in Uncategorized
Focus on Designer - Robert Heritage

Robert Heritage, born on 2 November 1927 in Birmingham, England. After studying at the Royal College of Art, London he began working as a designer for the London-based furniture manufacturer G.W. Evans (1951-53). Following this Robert Heritage and his wife Dorothy set up their own studio and  worked for a number of manufacturers including G.W. Evans Beaver & Tapley, Shannon, Slumberland, Race Furniture and Archie Shine. During this time Robert Heritage also taught at Twickenham School of Art, London (1953-55) and was professor of furniture design at the Royal College of Art (1974-85). He was made a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the Royal Society of Arts in 1963 and was a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (FSIAD).

We currently have a selection of Robert Heritage mid-century furniture including the stunning 'Hamilton' drum table. 20C148.JPG20C179a.JPG20C254.jpg20C399.jpg20C288D.jpg

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Posted on in Uncategorized
July News

We've been very busy this month sourcing and supplying furniture and decorative items for a client who is expanding their chain of bars and restaurants across the UK. This quirky department store clock will be making its debut soon...

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Drew Pritchard & T of Salvage Hunters visit our Wirral Showroom

Enjoyed spending the day with Drew Pritchard & T from Salvage Hunters, filming on location at Thornton Manor.  We'll keep you posted when we know what date our appearance will be aired. 

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Posted on in New Stock
News Update

Well, what a month May was for all of us at 20th Century Furnishing.  We saw our new website going 'live', had a very successful trip to London meeting new customers and fellow traders at the Mid Century Show East, Haggerston.  

Thank you for the great feeback about our new website, we will be updating it weekly with new stock and we are hoping to offer a 'click to buy' option directly from the website by the end of the year.  For now you can contact us by email or telephone to enquire about an item and we offer payment by PayPal, Debit or Credit Card, Bank Transfer, Cheque or good old fashioned cash! We have the majority of our live stock listed on our ebay shop '20thcenturyfurnishing' please view our feeback rating for additional reassurance.  Some recent feedback from our customers includes: 

"Excellent service and prompt delivery - great experience" 

"Good price, great communication, professional service A+++++"

"Great quality bookcase, as described & easy collection, 1st class"

"Absolutely love it! Thanks"

Coming soon...We'll be listing new stock during this week including a stunning Robert Heritage Rosewood wall unit. 


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Posted on in Events
Midcentury Show East

We’re taking a selection of our best pieces of modernist furniture on the road. 20th Century Furnishing are heading south and are thrilled to be exhibiting at the MIDCENTURY SHOW EAST in the refurbished Grade II listed Haggerston School, East London. The venue is an architectural gem created by Hungarian-born London-based Modernist Erno Goldfinger between 1964/5. Goldfinger, inspired by Auguste Perret and Le Corbusier, was one of the first architects to develop the use of concrete aesthetically in the UK.  Visit us at the show and you will get a rare glimpse inside this working school that contains some of Goldfinger's boldest interiors. 

Erno Goldfinger was also the architect behind the critically acclaimed Trellick Tower in Golborne Rd and the inspiration behind the well known Bond character!

DISCOUNTED TICKETS before the show here…

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Posted on in Designers
Focus on a Designer - Gordon Russell

“If the 18th century had been content to imitate the 17th century, then the finest age of English cabinet making would never have been born. I had no qualifications beyond a burning belief that my own age might recover its self respect, a sound knowledge of old furniture and construction, and an interest in the possibility of the machine.” Gordon Russell

Gordon Russell grew up in the heart of London in Broadway, it was here he found himself in the heart of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Movement influenced the style of Russell’s work, but it was his reaction to their ideology that was to shape his life and work. Although impressed by their commitment to the integrity of design, he found himself at odds with their philosophy that everything should be made by hand. He did not see why items that could easily be made by machine should be crafted solely by hand – thus resulting in prices that only the wealthy could afford. Increasingly he felt that through a blend of hand and machine he could produce and sell ‘decent, well designed furniture for ordinary people.’

Having been given the responsibility of the Lygon workshops after the First World War, Gordon Russell slowly began to introduce machines into the workshop. In the 1920s he established himself as a quality cabinetmaker and by 1924 the workshop had expanded to 30 employees, many who had trained at the renowned LCC Shoreditch Technical Institute. Despite the ever-present Arts and Crafts influence Russell’s design philosophy became increasingly modern. 

By the mid 1920s a whole range of machinery was introduce to Broadway for batch production. This move, which treated the machines as ‘just a more complex tool’ made him increasingly frustrated with the anti-industrial philosophy of William Morris. But the atmosphere was still one of a workshops, not a factory, and run according to Russell’s belief that ‘the most urgent job of all was to teach the machine manners.’

This commitment to hand crafted skill and quality within mass production drove Gordon Russell throughout his career. It defined his enterprise, Gordon Russell Limited, which was soon recognized as being at the forefront of European design. At the same time it informed his role as a champion of British design, through his establishment and direction of the Council of industrial Design (now the Design Council) in the 1950s and 60s.

‘The Arts and Crafts Movement scored the machine. The Modern Movement which followed it imagined the machine would solve all our problems…Don’t forget that hand and machine are complementary - an improvement in one leads in time to improvement in the other and, as William Morris noted nearly a hundred years ago, any improvement in the work men do leads rapidly and inevitably to an improvement in the men who do it.’

Examples of our Gordon Russell furniture

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Posted on in Showroom
Wirral Showroom

20th Century Furnishing now have a Wirral showroom in Thornton Hough. Our stock is being constantly updated with modernist furniture, vintage mirrors, lighting and quirky furnishings.  Our pieces have been crafted using the highest quality materials such as teak, rosewood, leather and steel. If necessary some items will be carefully restored by one of our professional restorers allowing the best possible finish. Come and browse our stock in person, we are open 7 days a week, viewing by appointment only, contact Jonathan 07833 681691.

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