Matthieu Mategot

Matthieu Mategot

Artist, Architect and designer of the 1950's. Hungarian Mathieu Matégot's (1910 - 2001) focus when it came to furniture was on materials and in particular, pierced metal paired with tubular steel. This became the aesthetic that characterised his style as well as very organic and playful lines. He dedicated one decade (1950's) to design for interiors and those pieces now go for a terrific amount. There's always a scramble at an auction or a fair if spotted.


Jacques Lipchitz

Jacques Lipchitz

Cubist sculpter Jacques Lipchitz has caught our eye this week. Lithuanian and Jewish, he left home after school, moved to Paris and started to mix with the likes of Picasso and and Juan Gris in the early 20th century. The interaction with this crowd at this period in Paris influenced his style. After much success he later cemented his status as one of the influential cubist sculptors.

He became a resident of France in 1925 and ended up living in a house he commissioned Le Corbusier to build. Forced to flee France in the second world war because of his Jewish heritage, Lipchitz relocated to the USA. There he moved away from his cubist style and started working on more organic figures in bronze, incorporating the themes of Judaism and persecution. You can find such work at Frank Lloyd Wright house, Fallingwater.

Shop Sounds: Jonny Trunk

Shop Sounds: Jonny Trunk

A new but regular feature. We'll be asking our favourite music people to provide us with a soundtrack to shop and work to. First up library music man Jonny Trunk of Trunk Records puts together a Scandinavian selection from mid-twentieth century. Perfect!

Vending Music - Johnny Trunk

Recent highlights for us from Trunk Records have been The Britxotica compilations as well as the regular and very generous 50p Fridays, which entertains every Friday morning.

Rex Appeal

Hello.  Lets take a moment to take a look at this fine looking chap.  His name is Niko Kralj and he is sat on the 'Rex' chair.  

The Rex chair was a folding chair designed by Niko, a slovene designer in 1952.  It was the first chair to be massed produced in Solvenia, over two million pieces were sold and it still remains a chair of cult status.  In 2004 there was an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) dedicated to the Rex chair.

Niko Kralj is to Solvenia what Aalto is to Finland and Eames is to America; and to mid-mod enthusiasts the Rex chair is right up there.  The influences on this bent ply wonder come from a Scandinavian modernist school of design.  Its formed ply makes for an ergonomic and comfortable design.  It folds up and has perforated slatts  making it lighter and easier to ship.  Most importantly its an absolute beauty.  Put it where you want, its gonna look great.  As garden furniture, a desk chair, at a dining table or as a lounge chair.

If only we had a few here at The Peanut Vendor.

Oh wait!

And here's another shot of that old charmer.

Too Cool for School

Modern architecture really kicked off just after 1900's.  Partly a reaction to the ornate and over adorned Victorian and Edwardian buildings; partly due to due new building techniques and materials and partly a political and social revolution.

Some modernist architects were lucky enough to design large pubic buildings, some of them schools.

Here are some seriously cool schools.  Sorry Hollingworth High School, you did not make the cut.

Hunstanton Secondary School by Alison and Peter Smithson

The Bauhaus Dessau by Walter Gropius

ADGB Trade Union School - Hannes Meyer

Haggerston School by Erno Goldfinger

Tubular Times

Marcel Breuer is a designer who can be given the accolade of leading a modernist tubular furniture revolution that dominated 1920/30's design. 

In 1925 he produced this chair, Club Chair (middle).  Drawing on a the designs of the De Stijl furniture by Rietveld but also really taking into account the shape and space of a regular club chair.




Its radical enough for us to look at the leather version in 2014 and see that the other two are seriously cutting edge, but this was 1925 for christ sake!  Really it was a post war period when designers could take advantage of new manmade materials and production techniques.

From then on everyone was at it.  Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Mart Stam, Charlotte Perriand and Anton Lorenze for Thonet.


There was a bit of a legal scuffle when it came to who was responsible for the cantilever design.  A chair with no back legs and one continuous line.  Though Marcel Breuer insisted that he was responsible for this design, it is widely reported that Mart Stam first came up with the idea after making a prototype chair with gas pipes.


Whoever is responsible, it's bloody lovely chair and we're lucky enough to have a Thonet version designed by Anton Lorenze in at the moment.



As well as some other modernist inspired tubular furniture.




Dawn Vachon

Canadian born Dawn is a master of the potters wheel.  Based in Melbourne she sits at her little wheel churning out these beautiful ceramics.  We love the colours and their Memphisey look.