Three Nesting Tables by Gerald Summers


Circa 1935

Designed 1933 by Gerald Summers (1899-1967)
Made by '
Makers of Simple Furniture' (1931-1940)

Birch Plywood with a White Cellulose Finish

The remit which Gerald Summers had set himself was to create simple, minimal shapes considering first the function, then the material and finally the form which he believed would lead to rightness of design when "sight too will be satisfied". Summers was a member of 'The Design and Industry Association' whose dictum was that designs should have "just the appropriate shaping and finish for the thing required"; this set of three nesting tables perfectly illustrates these beliefs.

Please note the contemporary black and white promotional image.

Purchased new by C. Handisyde Architect* & author
Thence by descent
U.K. Private Collection

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 of Art, 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

The Design History Journal 1992 Vol.5 No.3 - precis of Masters' thesis by Martha Deese, Metropolitan Museum New York
Gerald Summers: Furniture For the Concrete Age Dunn and Mantz pub. 2012
1000 Chairs Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Cologne 2000 p.232
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

*Cecil Handisyde (b.1908) was one of a team of architects who designed the Lansbury Estate in Tower Hamlets, London; a redevelopment project following the damage suffered during WWII. The first phase of building was undertaken as the 'live architecture' element of the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition. Handisyde together with D Rogers Stark were responsible for the design of the Trinity Congregational Church (now Methodist) on East India Dock Road. The church was a strikingly modern light and airy space designed to be versatile and also to continue its role as a community and social centre.

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