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Date published: March 03 2017

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Clients and designers have a new appreciation for natural materials and textures

Spectacular pieces of furniture are always desirable but there is a renewed interest in collecting iconic, sleek, mid-Century and more lavish, late 20th-Century modern design.

Over the past decade, the vogue and value of 20th- Century design has risen with vintage pieces now reaching record prices. With a growing interest from not only the world of interiors
but museums as well, the trend for investing in mid-Century furniture has become comparable to buying works of art.

Pieces of exceptional quality we see include the works by great 20th-Century masters such as Paul Evans. The prices for this designer-maker have shot to stratospheric levels in comparison to those achieved a decade ago. A piece of Evans is a marvel of materiel choice, hand finishing and a study in obsessive attention to detail.

In the mid-1990s, a handful of British dealers started buying vintage and mid-Century modern. Lucite lamps and consoles worked fantastically, bringing clean lines and modernity to interiors, as fashions changed from the country house look. By the mid noughties - it was a sellout. No one had seen anything like it before. The more we bought the more people acquired the taste for it.

The mid and late 20th Century pieces we acquire range from vintage, given a contemporary revamp to fit the needs of modern spaces in our Talisman edition line, to sought after masterpieces whose originality we preserve as a testament to their conceptual genius.

For current collectibles there is a demand for pieces in original condition from the star American and European designers of the mid to late 20th Century, such as the works of Paul Evans, Karl Springer, Tommi Parzinger, Aldo Tura and Philip and Kelvin LaVerne. 

Such craftsmanship and finish can be seen in a LaVerne dining table, with Matisse inspired motif. It is an exceptional example of how a new dimension can be given to metal. The
bronze structure is treated with an acid etching technique that gives subtle colour variation and fluidity to the surface, resulting in a patina reminiscent of velvet.

There is renewed interest in glamorous materials and jewel colours. By simply adding brass bases to a pair of bespoke chairs you instantly add another dimension.

Pattern and texture is also key. Clients and designers have a new appreciation for natural materials and textures and aren’t afraid to mix pattern with pattern. Exotic shell and skin veneered pieces from the likes of Karl Springer and Maitland Smith are gaining a huge following. There is a strong symbiotic relationship between interiors and fashion led by social media and online lifestyle platforms.

Artful curating is a look that designers and clients are creating. Clients wish to appear knowledgeable and individual: vintage and 20th Century modern collectibles are perfect for this kind of expression. Clients are more courageous, able to blend periods and styles seamlessly and are creating interiors that are above all, personal and new.

However, pieces exceptional in design-quality and execution outlive the idea of trend. A single mid-Century modern piece can bring pleasure for many years. At the upper end of collectible designers such as Paul Evans, justification of investment in a high value single purchase ensures an originality and individuality - a way in which a special piece can become a fascinating focal point in the home. Unlike anything else you might find elsewhere. That is the magic of 20th-Century modern. 

Designer: Ken Bolan

Author: Ken Bolan

Company: Talisman London

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