Mid-Century animals

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Famed for its playful design, the Mid-Century era refused to take furniture, style or art too seriously. Characterised by a joyful optimism, this post-war period embraced bold colors, abstract textiles and design pieces that were made to be enjoyed – not just for show. 

This joie de vivre is present in products of the period, completely dispelling the myth that design was the preserve of the elite, many Mid-Century modern designers opted to create pieces that placed simplicity and pleasure at their heart - with a number of iconic ornaments produced during the era which are typified by their almost childlike sense of fun:
  • The Eames House Bird: A re-edition by Vitra, the iconic Eames House Bird is crafted from black lacquered alder wood and remains as curiously stylish today as it did upon its first appearance in the 1900s. While the name may suggest it was a creation of the designer, it was actually produced by Charles and Edna Perdew – artists specializing in carving and painting wildfowl decoys. Found during his extensive travels, Eames was so taken by the ornament that it featured in his living space for over fifty years, and made its way into many of his photographs, including the front cover of a 1952 issue of Architectural Record – cementing its position as a true mid-century design classic. 
  • The Wooden Monkey by Kay Bojesen: A beloved classic, this cheerful monkey has been a presence in many children’s (and adults…) bedrooms since its creation in 1951. Made from teak and limba wood, hand-carved in Denmark, and composed of 30 individual pieces, the wooden monkey is truly a piece of artistry by one of the most influential pioneers of Danish design, although its mischievous face may belie this fact. Now created by the Rosendahl Design Group in partnership with the Bojensen family, the Monkey remains a piece of perfectly crafted mid-century design. 
  • Kristian Vedel Bird: Taken from a family of birds created by Danish industrial designer Kristian Vedel in 1959, this quirky ornament quickly became a popular statement in many mid-century modern interiors; and remains just as loved today. Hand-carved from high quality smoked oak wood, Vedel’s bird can tilt its head in any direction –conveying a range of emotions through its positioning – whilst its body can also be turned upside down to create a male or female. A joyful little ornament, the bird brings Mid-Century whimsy to any interior.
At this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, these iconic Mid-Century monuments will be dotted around our showroom for you to find and keep! Join us from 21-23 May at 10 Brewhouse Yard to take part in the treasure hunt.