Vintage Ercol Furniture
Ercol's vintage designs still keeping up with the times!
High quality craftsmanship is clearly visible at first glance of each Ercol piece and often it has survived over fifty years of use and wear but still looks fabulous!
Vintage Ercol furniture is functional and sturdy whilst remaining stylish. It's curved lines and edges in beech and elm make it easily recognisable and the blonde finish especially complements modern interiors.
The firm was founded by Italian desgner Lucian Ercolani in 1920 and in the early days his designs changed dramatically. However, the Ercol Windsor chair has remained in production since the 1950s when its Windsor range was first introduced as a contemporary interpretation of the original, bentwood and stickback, Windsor theme.
Post wartime Ercol really got going
Due to the huge amount of post-war rebuilding in the 1940s, there was large demand for new furniture, but also a huge shortage of raw materials. The British Government set up the Utility Furniture Scheme and Committee to ensure that the few valuable materials that were available were used sensibly and responsibly. The Committee approved a number of designs for the Utility Furniture Catalogue which would make affordable furniture available to newlyweds and those who had been bombed out in World War II. The furniture featuring in the catalogue would be well designed, sturdy and built to last.
In 1944, the Board of Trade approached Ercol with a contract to manufacture 100,000 windsor kitchen chairs at low cost. In order to mass produce at the rate that was required, Ercol needed to adapt existing machinery to speed up the production process, and invented a system for steaming timber which was hugely successful.
The Chiltern Hills has been at the centre of British furniture making for generations. Elm and beech were readily available in the forests of Buckinghamshire and provide beautiful grain patterns and patina for this mid century furniture. Interestingly elm had been cast aside by most furniture makers as it was prone to warp and bend, something that Ercolani decided could work to his advantage if correctly kiln dried with circulating steam. Using this steam bending process, Ercol were able to produce 2000 chairs each week.
The 'Britain Can Make It' exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 1946 was a showcase of post war manufacturing in Britain. Ercol used this exhibition to launch its iconic Windsor collection that has remained so successful that it has never gone out of production but simply evolved with the changing times. The simple aesthetic of the range and it's wonderful ability to sit comfortably with most interior decorations, has no doubt helped it remain buoyant over the years.
We are always pleased to present Vintage Ercol furniture for sale knowing that it will stand the test of time.