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Learn about and understand the items, manufacturers, designers and periods as well as the specialist terms used in describing antiques and collectables. Either click one of the letters below to list the items beginning with that letter, or click on a category on the left side of the screen to list the items under that category.
When Rachel Bishop joined Moorcroft in 1993, she was only the fourth Moorcroft designer in 100 years. She followed the founder of the firm, William Moorcroft 1913-1945, his son William from 1945 to the 1980s, and Sally Tuffin to 1992.
In the 1970's the prosperity of the company continued to decline and the low point was reached in the mid 1980's at which time the company had only 16 employees remaining.
The revival began when Moorcroft was purchased by Richard Dennis (the husband of Sally Tuffin) and Hugh Edwards.
Richard Dennis and Sally Tuffin left the company in 1993, leaving the Edwards family in ownership. The design vacuum was filled by Rachel Bishop, and although only 24 years old when she joined, she was soon to see sales of her William Morris inspired designs flourish and with it the company continued its revival, its' employees now numbering several hundred.
Her success was rewarded with the creation of the Moorcroft Design Studio in 1997, comprising eight designers with Rachel Bishop as the head designer.
A term used by cabinet makers for the horizontal sections of the frame of an item such as a chair or settee which have a front rail, a back rail and two side rails, and also on a door or carcase, where the rails are joined to the vertical framings.
A spoon with a flattened handle, tapering from the narrow section at the bowl, and wider as the top of the handle, that when viewed from above is of a similiar shape to a rat's tail. Also known as the Hanoverian pattern, as its manufacture spanned the reigns of George I, II and III (part) of the House of Hanover dynasty. The rat tail pattern was the forerunner to the Old English pattern.
A term applied to many easy chairs dating from the early 18th century. Reading chairs were usually upholstered, with arms, and often fitted with side 'wings' to keep draughts away from the sitter. Some had detachable book rests on the arms. Victorian versions were often slightly more reclining in shape with scrolled arms and leather upholstery. See under library chair, wing chair and cockfighting chair.
A series of parallel, raised convex mouldings or bands, in section resembling a series of the letter 'm'. The opposite form of fluting, with which it is sometimes combined. Reeding is commonly found on chair legs, either turned or straight, on the arms and backs of chairs and couches and around table edges in the Neoclassical or Classical Revival manner. Reeding was also used as a form of decoration during the Edwardian period, but it is usually much shallower and evidently machine made.
A long, substantial, solid-topped table, without leaves or extensions, used as a dining table. They were originally used in the refectories, or dining halls of monasteries, and are found in such places as boarding schools and university halls of residence. The tables usually have heavy turned legs, sometimes connected by stretchers close to the floor, and often have additional supporting legs along the railed frame. The term is also sometimes applied to a much shorter solid-topped table with a somewhat Jacobean flavour of the early 20th century.
A style introduced during the Classical Revival, based on the design of the ancient Greek klismos. The distinguishing features are the sabre leg and the rounded spade back usually extending beyond the back uprights.
During the period 1842-1883 the Patent Office issued a diamond mark along with the registration number when a design was registered.
Besides indicating that the design had been registered, a diamond mark offered the buyer the reassurance of knowing an item was of British design. It assured the person registering the design a degree of protection from copying.
The mark was created to identify the type of material used (known as the class), how many items were included, (sometimes known as bundles or packages), and the date of registration.
On the diamond mark the year of registration is shown along with the month code. However, there are two ranges of year codes; 1842-1867 and 1868-1883. By looking at the design of the diamond mark you should be able to determine the correct year from the design of the diamond mark and the placing of the day number.
Source and further information: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/reg-design-diamond.htm
Between 1842 and 1883, a diamond- shaped mark was used to identify items as British-made, which classified the item according to the material from which it was manufactured, as well as the date of registration. This system was discontinued in 1884 when a numbering system was introduced.
Design registration is for "what and item looks like", and is not a patent ("how something works") or trade mark ("what it is called").
The registered number is usually on an under-surface of an object (on the base of ceramics) and oftern shown as "Rd. No. 99999", sometimes surrounded by a rectangular box.
The table below lists the year, and the first registered number for that year:
"PPP", "Remued" and "Pamela" were trade names or marks used by Premier Pottery, established in Preston, a suburb of Melbourne by two Potters, David Dee and Reg Hawkins in 1929.
The company was set up to produce art pottery, unlike other [potteries of the time whose main business was in producing building materials such as bricks and roof tiles, and who produced decorative items as a sideline.
At first the pottery was marketed with the "PPP" marking and the trade name "Remued" was introduced around 1933, and used alongside the "PPP" brand.
The mark "Pamela" was introduced about the same time in an effort to convince customers that the wares marked with the "Pamela" name were created by a studio potter rather than in a factory, but this mark was in use for less than year.
Some 'Remued" and "Pamela" pieces are also marked "Hand Made".
From around 1934 the company was using the "Remued" name exclusively, and this coincided with the death of one of the founders, David Dee, and an introduction of additional capital by the future wife of Reg Hawkins, Noni Deumer, whose surname spelt backwards is "Remued".
Production at the factory continued under Alan Hawkins, with the head potter, Allan James becoming a part owner in the early 1950s.
The business continued through until the end of 1955 when the firm closed.
"Remued" wares are recognisable by their drip-glazes, use of gum leaves and gumnuts for decoration, twig-like handles on jugs, vases and bowls, and applied decoration featuring grapevines, koalas and other animals.
For a comprehensive history of Premier Pottery go to www.remued.com
Sigurd Ressell born in 1920 this Norwegian designer was first recognised by Niels Vodder in a drawing competition. A prototype made from this drawing went on to become the SR 600 chair and won an award at the Copenhagen Cabinetmaker’s Guild Exhibition. The 'Falcon' chair produced by Vatne Mobler of Norway is without doubt Ressell’s most successful design and one of the most comfortable chairs available.
Gladys Reynell, born in Adelaide in 1881, studied medicine at Adelaide University but left to study painting with Margaret Rose MacPherson (later Margaret Preston).
In 1912 Gladys Reynell departed for London accompanied by Margaret Preston, where they both studied pottery at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London.
During the World War I Gladys Reynell and Margaret Preston both taught crafts including pottery to recuperating injured service personnel. Upon their return to Australia in 1919 their joint first exhibition, held in September at Preece's Gallery, Adelaide, included some pottery.
At the Reynella Pottery her assistant was George Osborne, the family's gardener, who also began making pots from the clays he dug and prepared. Eventually George was making most of the pots and Gladys doing the decoration.
In 1922 they married and moved to Ballarat, Victoria, where they established the Osrey Pottery, an acronym formed from their surnames. Osrey wares enjoyed wide popularity and were sold in Melbourne through the Primrose Pottery Shop. and in Sydney and Adelaide. They ceased making pots after George contracted lead poisoning in 1926.
Gladys Reynell died In Melbourne in 1956.
Rhoda Wager (1875 - 1953) was a London born jewellery designer who migrated to Fiji in in 1913, and then to Sydney in in 1918.
She had studied art in Bristol, and then attended the School of Art, Glasgow from 1897 - 1903 where she studied the Arts & Crafts style, and also exhibited there.
She opened premises in Martin Place, adjacent to the major hotels of the day, which supplied much of her clientile, then later moved to Market Street and then Victoria Arcade Chambers. Her jewellery was also sold on consignment by the Sydney department store, Farmer & Co.
Where practical, her jewellery was clearly labelled with a silver plate soldered to the back, reading "WAGER" inside a rectangular frame.
Rhoda Wagers best known design was of trailing vines, leaves and tiny berries.
She retired in 1946.
Born in Melbourne in 1899, William Ricketts was a self-taught sculptor and conservationist, who commenced modelling in clay in about 1920. Well known for his terracotta sculptures and vessels depicting heads and figures of Aboriginal subjects, he owned a property at Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges, now known as the William Rickett Sanctuary, and open to the public. This property is famous for its bush garden heavily decorated with his terracotta sculptures. Ricketts' works are represented in several state and provincial collections. He died in 1993.
A riviere is a necklace made of a row of graduated single stones, usually diamonds.
A form of cottage chair fitted with half round rockers, good for dozing in before the fire or on the verandah. There are many variants dating from about the middle of the 18th century, although most found on the Australian market are Victorian or later. Many rocking chairs are based on adaptations of the Windsor chair, with or without arms, others on the 19th century Grecian chair, usually with a caned seat and back. American spindle back chairs were also made as rockers. The genuine rocking chair is usually somewhat wider than the standard dining chair, and the American spindle back rocker always has two horizontal splats below the vertical spindles. Some truly wonderful rocking chairs were made by Thonet and others in bentwood during the second half of the 19th century.
A platform rocker is a chair mounted on a frame or platform, with short legs and castors. The rocking chair itself was fitted with coiled springs to regulate the action when in use. They were very popular from the later 19th century until the 1930s, and often had a carpet back and seat.
Skid rockers are not as common as platform rockers. The rocking motion is achieved by mounting the chair on a pair of rounded skids.
A stylistic development covering the period from about 1730 to 1770, during the reign of Louis XV in France. The rococo style falls between the rather overbearing manner of the Baroque and the formal elegance of Neoclassicism. The Rococo style reached its full maturity in France, though many of its features were used by English furniture makers. The style is marked by asymmetrical forms, especially pierced and intricate scroll work as in mirror frames, chair backs etc., and the use of shells and floral motifs. The term derives from the French 'rocaille', meaning rock work, as in gardens and fountains. There was a major Rococo revival in the mid-19th century and indeed much of what is now considered to be typically Victorian furniture is influenced by the Rococo. It is essentially feminine in feeling, and for this reason, perhaps, was regarded as rather frivolous by its successors.
Roger McLay (1922 – 2000) trained at the National Art School, Sydney, and then as an apprenticeship with printing company John Sands in lithography. After serving in World War II from 1939 to 1945, he returned to the Art School from 1945-47.
Roger McLay's Kone chair was contructed from plywood on a painted steel base, with a small amount of rubber to provide stability.
Production of the Kone Chair started in 1948. In its 12 years of production, two styles were manufactured: circular and circular with trimmed sides. Some chairs were upholstered. Like many other mid 20th century furniture designers, mcLay used wood laminate developed during the war, but his unique contribution was not to use moulding to create his chair. Instead the laminate was a single sheet bent into shape and fixed to a metal frame. The first chairs may be identified by the designers name and model. Descon made the chairs from the mid 1950s.
From: Carter's "Collecting Australiana", William & Dorothy Hall, published by John Furphy Pty. Ltd. 2005
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969). When it comes to the big names of twentieth century design, they don’t come much bigger than Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. A pioneering and hugely influential architect and a dedicated and passionate educator and furniture designer. Mies was, first and foremost, an architect and held the role of Director of Architecture at the Bauhaus Design School. In 1908, he took a job with Peter Behrens; his colleagues in that office included Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Mies went into private practice in 1913, adding the more impressive Rohe, his mother´s maiden name. Mies, often in collaboration with Lilly Reich, designed furniture for many of his early projects, and most is still in production today. In particular, furnishings for the Tugendhat House and the Barcelona Pavilion have become design icons. These pieces reflect the same philosophical underpinnings that drove his architecture. Both are concerned with the use of space, their forms being defined as much by the space around them as by the structure of the chairs themselves, and employ a striking combination of sleek modernist steel and luxurious leather.
One of the signature design features of Rolex watches is the screw-down crown and water tight cases. It was the development of the screw-down crown by Rolex in 1926, which gave them the final solution to the problem of leaky watch cases. The first ever water and dust resistant case was made by Rolex and named Oyster. As the Rolex Oyster was a sensational watchmaking achievement, the company publicised this feature in advertisements and the watch was worn by Mercedes Gteitz whilst breaking the record for swimming the English Channel.
In 1931, Rolex took the next step in the advancement of its watches with the development of a self winding movement that would eliminate the need for manual daily winding. This style of movement would also eliminate the problem of crowns not being resealed in a moment of forgetfulness when winding. Rolex patented this automatic rotary winding mechanism which it named 'The Rolex Oyster Perpetual'. Only after 1948, when the original patent came to an end were other competitors permitted to introduce their own automatic systems.
A term introduced in the 19th century to describe a desk with a sliding enclosed top.
A desk, usually but not always of pedestal shape with a superstructure of small drawers and pigeonholes, enclosed by a shutter of horizontal timber slats. Also known as a tambour top desk. The slats are glued to strips of canvas and may be rolled up or down along parallel grooves on either side of the frame. Dating from the late 19th century and usually made from oak, one of the better known brands is the 'Cutler' desk. The Cutler style desk was much copied, and a genuine Cutler with the 'Cutler' name around the extended brass escutcheon, will command a price premium over a desk in the Cutler style without the maker's plaque.
There is a second type of roll top desk, known as a cylinder desk that dates from the second half of the 18th century. The desk opening is enclosed by a quarter-round cylinder of veneered timber which, when opened, slides back into a recess behind the superstructure.
A type of gold plating devloped in the early 19th century, similar to Sheffield plating of silver, where the the gold is fused under pressure and heat to a base metal, usually brass, and then rolled into sheets of the required thickness.
The thickness of the gold plate can vary. In Britain the thickness of the gold is measured in microns. A micron is one-thousandth of a millimetre and 20 microns of gold is considered good quality. In the USA a differnt method is used that takes account of the total weight of the object.
Also, the purity of the gold, measured in carats can vary, with 24 carat being the purest. The gold in most rolled gold objects will be between 9 and 14 carats.
There are other chemical and electroplating methods of applying gold plate to a base metal, but rolled gold is considered a superior plate to a "gold plated" object.
Depending on the country and date of manufacture, the object may be stamped "Rolled Gold" or similar, but if there is any doubt as to whether an object is solid gold, or some type of gold plating, it is preferable to have it tested by a jeweller.
A decorative ornament often found on Australian colonial furniture mainly from the second half of the 19th century. It consists of a turned piece of timber, perhaps 45 cm long, with small turned finials at either end. It is used, for example, to surmount the shaped backs of some miner's couches or four-poster beds.
A flat based cut for a preious stone, leaving the surface covered with triangular facets, usually 24 in total.
It was introduced in the 15th century and popular during the 16th and 17th centuries.
The rose cut was the most popular form of diamond cut until the discovery of the brilliant cut at the end of the 17th century, after which its use declined.
A dense timber that varies in shade to very light brown to almost black. When rosewood is cut and sanded the colour of the timber will turn black, and after polishing and exposure to daylight, the surface will gradually lighten over time to light brown with black streaks.
The name comes from the odour emanating from the timber when it is planed, sanded or cut.
Rosewood was very popular for use in Victorian furniture in the second half of the 19th century, and at that time most of the rosewood was imported from Brazil. However it also grows in India and Indonesia.
It is used in the sold for chairs and table legs, but for carcase furniture such as side cabinets and bookcases, and for table tops it is always used as a veneer.
The rostrum is the name given to the saw-like nose extension found on swordfish and sawfish.
The body and head of the fish, like the rostrum, are flat and the fish spends much of its time lying on its stomach on the ocean floor. The fish uses the rostrum to slash at their prey, wounding it and allowing the predator to devour it.
Recent sales in Australia have included some rostrum of over 150 cm in length, but most coming onto the market are 40 - 50 cm.
A roundel is a circular disk, medallion or border on a plate or dish, on an object of furniture. A plate or dish will often have a central circular bordered decoration, termed a roundel. In furniture the word is often used instead of the word 'patera' to describe a turned circular decoration. In recent times use of the word has expanded to encompass any circular area on an object.
The most famous taxidemist of the late Victorian era, Rowland Ward was born in London in 1847, and left school at 14 to work at his father Henry Ward’s taxidermy studio.
Around 1872 he established his own business in Harley Street London, and after a few years in premises in Picadilly, which he named "The Jungle". He became the taxidermist to big game hunters and for many years in the late 19th century and early 20th century was the largest and most famous taxidermist in the world.
He died in 1912 and the business continued until 1983.
Such is the esteem with which his work is held, any taxidermy coming onto the market bearing his name or intitials on a paper label or plate will command a premium.
The Royal Doulton "HN" numbering system has proven to be a very orderly way of identifying each individual Royal Doulton figure. The "HN" refers to Harry Nixon who was in charge of the new figure painting department in Doulton's very early years.
The HN numbering system has endured the test of time to be still used today. Over time, Royal Doulton has issued over 4000 individual HN numbers although they all are not new models - some are assigned to specific colourway variations and some cross over to be used to identify animal figures.
Very few 20th century collectables have seen a more stellar rise in price than Royal Doulton Bunnykins figures.
When Royal Doulton took over the Beswick factory in 1969, they acquired the modelling talents of Mr Albert Hallam who had previously worked on the similarly highly collectable Beswick Beatrix Potter figures.
The first of the nine Royal Doulton Bunnykins figures were launched in 1972 with DB pattern numbers and they are approximately 4 inches in height. All were inspired by Royal Doulton Nurseryware patterns - this continued until 1974 when there were a total of 15 figures in the range.
The 1980's through to the present day has seen many general range, special colourway and Limited Edition Bunnykins figures released - with now well over 300 Royal Doulton Bunnykins figures for collectors to be enthused about.
Some of the Limited Edition figures have seen price rises of over 1000% in a very short time and with many of the figures in short supply and high demand, there is no reason for this collectables success not to continue unabated.
There have been over 4000 different models of Royal Doulton figurines manufactured to captivate collectors. Production of these figures has been from 1890s (Doulton Lambeth) through to the present day with rarity, age, theme, colour and variations of individual designer determining the value of each figure.
Although Doulton had produced figures from the mid-19th century, production did not really take off until c1913 under modeller C. J. Noke, when the HN (for Harry Nixon, head of figure painting department) model numbering system was introduced for a new collection.
During the 20th century production mushroomed under the guidance of Noke and Leslie Harradine. Take care as some models have variations in colour and size which will have different HN numbers and will often have different values.
The design of figures tends to reflect the taste of the times in which they are made. There have been too many designers of figures to mention here, however the timeless 1920's and 1930's
Many collectors collect to a particular theme, it may be strong male character figures of a nautical design or the ever popular 'Street Vendors' series from Edwardian England that represent something emotive to each individual collector.
Fair ladies are also a popular collecting area, and some collectors focus on collecting figures in one specific colour which can vary significantly in value.
Leslie Harradine’s work also forms an important collecting area.
Condition is of key importance to value. Only figures in mint condition will command the highest prices. Scratches, wear to paint and especially cracks and other similar serious damage, will reduce value dramatically.
The Royal Doulton "HN" numbering system has proven to be a very orderly way of identifying each individual Royal Doulton figure. Harry Nixon to which the "HN" refers, was in charge of the new figure painting department in Doulton's very early years.
The HN numbering system has endured the test of time to be still in effect today. Over time, Royal Doulton has issued HN numbers for the 4,000+ figures produced, although they are not all new models - some are assigned to specific colourway variations and some cross over to be used to identify animal figures.
The Doulton factory was established in 1815 in Lambeth, South London by John Doulton (1793 - 1873), who had previously been employed at the nearby Fulham Pottery. He initially had two partners, Martha Jones and John Watts, the former of who left the company in 1820, and the latter in 1854.
He began by producing practical and decorative stoneware, such as bottles and sewer pipes from his small pottery
John's son Henry (1820 - 1897) joined the company in 1835 and the production of stoneware items was expanded to include laboratory articles, sanitary ware and drainpipes, which were sold worldwide.
In the mid 1850s John Doulton began experimenting with a more decorative pottery items. Many glazes and decorative effects were developed including faience, impasto, silicon, carrara, marqueterie, chine, and rouge flambe.
From about 1860, Doulton began to revive earlier types of stoneware, such as copies of 18th-century vessels. The famous salt-glazed wares with blue decoration first appeared in 1862.
Through Henry Doulton, the pottery became associated with the Lambeth School of Art directed by John Sparkes from about 1866.
He trained the sculptor George Tinworth who joined Doulton as the first resident sculptor in 1867. Tinworth enjoyed a long career at the Lambeth studio, producing a wide range of figures, vases, jugs, tankards and reliefs, as well as fountains and monumental sculptures.
The international popularity of the art pottery produced at Lambeth led to the number of art potters increasing from six in 1873 to 345 in 1890, including such famous names as Frank Butler, Eliza Simmance, Arthur Barlow and his sisters Hannah and Florence Barlow.
In 1877, Henry Doulton invested in Pinder, Bourne & Co., a pottery on Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire, to manufacture tableware and ornamental ware.
When Henry Doulton died in 1897, Henry's son Henry Lewis Doulton took over control of the company. The company continued to hire talented artists including the next art director Charles Noke, Harry Tittensor, Joseph Hancock, and many others.
The company was granted the Royal Warrant by Edward VII in 1901. Production continued at the Lambeth factory until 1956, after which Doulton concentrated on their activities at Burslem.
In the 1960s, the company made a series of acquisitions. In 1968 it purchased Minton China, a company founded in 1793, and Dunn Bennett, a company founded in 1876 manufacturing hotel ware. These were followed by Webb Corbett and Beswick in 1969.
In 1972 Pearson PLC purchased Doulton & Co. Pearson had a controlling interest in Allied English Potteries and combined the two tableware groups under the Royal Doulton Tableware name, but in 1993 Pearson returned the Doulton group to public ownership, and it was listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The company made further acquisitions in the 1990s but sales were stagnant and in 1997 the company was forced to restructure, cutting its workforce and range of products.
Losses continued despite further attempts to cut costs, including closing the Nile Street Burslem factory in 2005, and the company went administration in 2009.
It is now part of WWRD Holdings Ltd., the name being an acronym for the main components of the business: Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton
Royal Doulton Silicon Ware was mainly produced from 1880 to 1912, although examples exist up to 1930. It consists of a very hard high-fired stoneware body in light brown and blue, covered in a barely perceptible matt glaze known as 'smear'.
Silicon Ware objects are usually decorated with applied beads, rosettes and medallions, sometimes by major Doulton artists such as Eliza Simmance, Florence Barlow and Edith Lupton.
In England in the 18th and 19th century, "rummer" was the name given to a drinking glass for wine with a wide bowl and short stem joined to a circular domed or square foot. The glasses were not designed for drinking rum, as the name implies. The name "rummer" is a corruption of the German word Romer, as the early glasses were used for white wine from the Rhine region.
Runners or slides are wood on each side of the bottom of a drawer, being the surfaces which take the weight of the drawer and provide for its movement in and out. The runners of a drawer are usually the first areas of a drawer to display wear, due to the friction between the two surfaces. In modern cabinet making the wooden runners on th ebottom of the draer have been replaced by metal runners fixed to the side of the drawer and the side of the cabinet.
runnders.Runners or slides are wood on each side of the bottom of a drawer, being the surfaces which take the weight of the drawer and provide for its movement in and out. The runners of a drawer are usually the first areas of a drawer to display wear, due to the friction between the two surfaces. In modern cabinet making the wooden runners on the bottom of the drawer have been replaced by metal tracks, usually fixed to the side of the drawer and the side of the cabinet.
The timber bearers on the underside of an extension table that move horizontally against each other, thus moving the table in and out are also called runners. The number of bearers in a table will determine how far the table will extend.
Associated with country style chairs, stools and settees, rush seats are woven from rushes, with the pattern of the weaving often dividing the the chair seat diagonally into four triangles.
The weaving of rushes has been practiced for centuries, and it is believed that some early rush seats of the 18th and 19th century were painted, although common practice now is to leave the rush in its natural state. As the rush ages the colour
Rushes of the type used in Europe for seating are not available in Australia, and instead fibre rush, a man-made product from one-ply twisted paper, is used. Another substitute material is twisted natural sea grass.
Seats in Danish furniture of the 1950s were often finished with Danish cord, a three ply twisted paper cord, which has a similar appearance to rush.
Peter Rushforth was born in 1920, at Manly, NSW.
Following World War II he studied ceramics at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
In 1951 he was appointed to the staff of the National Art School, Sydney, and became Senior Lecturer in Ceramics there. He assisted in establishing a number of ceramics courses in institutions throughout NSW.
In 1963 he worked in Japan. In 1965 he was awarded a Churchill Scholarship. His first studio was in Sydney but in 1980 he moved to Shipley in the Blue Mountains.
During the period 1952-76 he held eight solo exhibitions at David Jones Gallery and Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; in 1972 and '77 he exhibited at The Craft Centre, South Yarra, Victoria; and in 1978 at Victor Mace Gallery, Brisbane. In 1985 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the National Gallery of Victoria.
He is represented in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, National Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery and Newcastle City Art Gallery.
Sir Gordon Russell (1892–1980) came under the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement from the age of 12, after his family moved to Broadway in the Cotswolds. Following service as an officer in World War I, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1918, he became a furniture maker and designer. Gordon Russell Ltd. was founded in 1923 to produce furniture and by the 1930s he and his brother Dick had built a reputation as designers of modern furniture based in the Cotswold Arts and Crafts tradition. Elected a royal designer for industry in 1940 and director of the Council of Industrial Design (1947-59) later renamed the Design Council. He was the first chairman of the Crafts Council and was awarded a Knighthood in 1955 for services to design.
Rustic is defined as "of, relating to, or typical of country life or country people", and the items illustrated in this price guide accord with that definition.
But in the 18th and 19th century "rustic furniture" had a narrower definition. It referred to furniture where the framework was carved or moulded to resemble tree trunks and branches, and was usually for outdoor use. Rustic furniture was made in cast iron, wood, terracootta and concrete. Much of the Coalbrookdale company's cast iron furniture was of rustic design.