Gerald Summers Frinton Park Estate Folding Circular Table
Designed 1933 by Gerald Summers (1899-1967)
Made by 'Makers of Simple Furniture' (1931-1940)
From the Frinton Park Estate built 1934 - 1936
Designed by Oliver Hill (1887 - 1968)
Diameter 110.5 cm Height 72 cm (43.5 x 28.25 in)
This delightful and practical folding dining table was made for the Show Home at the Frinton Park Estate which was designed by the Architect Oliver Hill. This was a Modernist self-contained seaside estate of 200 acres. Each site was planned to give un-interrupted views over the cliffs to the sea and the Show Home had a wide curved window on both the ground and upper floor with sweeping views over the water.
The most innovative designer in Britain in the 1930’s Gerald Summers’ significance is only now being appreciated as emphasis has heretofore been placed upon the achievements of European and Scandinavian designers and because ‘Makers of Simple Furniture’ was a small company, producing mainly to order, without the publicity machine of larger workshops.
Originally offered through Heals, Harrods and select department stores in the US, examples of Summers' designs are now held by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.
This table is featured together with other Summers' designs at the Frinton Park Estate Show Home in the "Home of the Month" article - October 1935 issue of The English Home
The Design History Journal 1992 Vol.5 No.3 - precis of Masters' thesis by Martha Deese, Metropolitan Museum New York
Design for Today 1934
100 Masterpieces Vitra Design Museum
Furnishing the small Home published London and New York 1930’s by the Studio Ltd.
A History of British Design 1839-1970 Fiona McCarthy pub.1972
Bent Wood and Metal Furniture 1850-1946 University of Washington Press edited by Derek E. Ostergard
Museums & Exhibitions:
Victoria & Albert Museum: Summers work is now included in the new 20th Century Furniture Galleries which opened at the V & A in November, 2012
Museum of Modern Art, New York 2014 Exhibition: The Magic of Plywood
Metropolitan Museum, New York
Vitra Design Museum
Thirties British Art and Design before the War organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain, London 1979
‘Constructivism in Art & Design’ Crafts Council Gallery, London 1988
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