Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Trolley

Trolley

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    mid-1970s (made)
    1933-1934 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Summers, Gerald, born 1899 - died 1967 (designer)
    Isokon Furniture Company (retailers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded plywood

  • Museum number:

    W.147-1978

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This version of Summers’s trolley was made decades after its design, probably by a skilled furniture student and possibly for a degree show. Few originals have survived. It is a remarkable design which takes a very thin sheet of plywood and moulds it into a figure of eight around three shelves, which provide support for the structure.

It was originally made by the firm that Gerald Summers and his wife Marjorie founded in 1931 or 1932, the Makers of Simple Furniture. Unusually, this particular design was also sold by Isokon Ltd., a firm devoted to building modernist architecture and suitable furniture and fittings for such buildings. At the end of 1935, Isokon founded a separate furniture company which made mainly plywood furniture designed by Marcel Breuer, Egon Riss and others.

Isokon’s retailing of the trolley was likely due to the relationship between Gerald Summers and Isokon’s founder Jack Pritchard. Pritchard, in addition to being founder of Isokon Ltd, earned his living by working (from 1925-35) as Manager of Venesta Ltd, the British arm of an Estonian plywood manufacturer. According to Summers’s widow, her husband learned a great deal about plywood from Pritchard and contemporary documents in Pritchard’s archive reveal that, starting in 1933, it was from Venesta that Summers acquired specialist aeroplane ply, benefitting from Pritchard’s knowledge of the material.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)

Date

mid-1970s (made)
1933-1934 (designed)

Artist/maker

Summers, Gerald, born 1899 - died 1967 (designer)
Isokon Furniture Company (retailers)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded plywood

Object history note


Descriptive line

Trolley, designed by Gerald Summers for Isokon, moulded plywood, Britain, designed 1933-34, probably made mid-1970s

Materials

Plywood

Techniques

Moulding

Categories

Furniture; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.