I’ve been a great admirer of Twentieth Century Antiques for many years. Established in 1993 by Andrew Fletcher, Twentieth Century Antiques specialises in modernism, midcentury and postwar design – exactly the kind of pieces I lust after, basically. I first met Andrew when I was writing about a Georgian flat he had refurbished in Edinburgh – his own home – that was filled with the most beautiful pieces of midcentury furniture. Then in 2014 I interviewed Andrew and his partner Rachel Green about their home in Edinburgh’s West End – Magdala Mews remains one of my favourite houses on the blog.
So when Andrew got in touch to tell me about Twentieth Century Antiques’ first solo selling exhibition, I wanted to feature a few of the pieces here. Running until July 16 at Custom Lane in Edinburgh’s Leith, the exhibition showcases the best of Scandinavian midcentury design. I asked Andrew to tell me a little bit about what visitors can expect – you can see more on Instagram.
How did you select the specific pieces and designers to showcase?
“I thought it was important to showcase pieces by some of the major designers of the period, such as Hans Wegner, Børgen Mogensen and Nanna Ditzel. Some people coming to the exhibition may be familiar with the names. Many of their designs are still in production today but this is a great opportunity for people to see the original pieces. The original pieces have a wonderful patina that only comes with age and use. There are plenty of others designers on show too. All my pieces are selected for their style and quality.”
What will people see at the exhibition?
“In terms of the furniture, I always like to offer a good range of pieces that people are always looking for for their homes – lounge chairs, sofas, dining tables, dining chairs, sideboards. I always try to have some more unusual pieces too. I have a couple of lovely Danish blanket boxes, one teak the other oak – really nice detailing and excellent storage. All my pieces are meant to be loved and used.
In addition to the furniture I’ll be exhibiting a selection of original prints by Modern British artists, such as Lynn Chadwick, Reg Butler and Bernard Meadows. I’ll also be showing prints by one of my favourite artists, Jack Kampmann, who was based on the Faroe Islands. His work captures the atmosphere of the coastal villages of the Faroes – simple buildings in an almost cubist style.”
Do you have any personal favourites?
“I always buy pieces that I like and would be happy to live with, so I like everything, but I am particularly taken with one of the Hans Wegner chairs – the ‘Sawbuck’ oak lounge chair, model CH28, manufactured by Carl Hansen & Son, 1952 – the detailing is lovely, it’s very sculptural and tactile and really comfortable. And the Borge Mogensen oak bench. Again, this is back in production but this is an original. I’ve been after one of these for ages and if we had the space it would be a keeper!”
Twentieth Century Antiques is exhibiting at Custom Lane in Leith until 16 July.
Opening times are Monday – Friday 9-5pm, Saturday 10-5pm, and Sunday 11-5pm. Visit Twentieth Century Antiques for more details.