There is something very interesting about collections of things, and something even more interesting about people who collect things. There is a certain psychology behind it; some people collect for the thrill of the hunt, it’s much like a quest, or a lifelong pursuit that is never finished. Collecting allows people to connect themselves to a period in history or time they feel strongly about, or to relive their childhood among many other reasons.
During our Midlands Meander, we visited the home of Richard Stretton and his wife Angela Shaw in Durban.(Their house is featured in our latest Spring Issue 92). Richard is an architect and furniture designer, and has collected Ercol furniture since his early twenties.
We wanted to find out a little more about Ercol furniture, found it absolutely fascinating and beautiful, so decided to share it with you.
Ercol is a British furniture manufacturer. The firm dates back to 1920, when it was established by a young furniture designer named Lucian Ercolani.
He became known for his technique of bending wood through the use of steam, and is also credited for “taming” the English elm.
In 1944, Lucian Ercolani got his big break when he was commissioned by the government to create a design for 100,000 chairs on a low budget. This goal was achieved through the Windsor Chair, a furniture piece that is economical, sturdy, and modern-looking.
Design and people were the cornerstones of his company and this remains true of the family owned company that continues his beliefs in the 21st century. The pieces are as appropriate to today’s living as they were when they were originally issued
Whether new or used, Ercol furniture remains popular, because it’s signature look- it’s striking modern feel- with sloping lines and elegant simplicity make it the perfect kind of furniture to collect.
The butterfly chair is the company’s most sought furniture piece followed by the stackable chair. The 1958 version of the butterfly chair is a must have for style and comfort.
The Ercol Windsor chair, an original furniture piece that gave Lucian Ercolani distinction, is also popular among collectors. The Ercol Love Seat from the 1950s is another popular piece.