Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ercol revival

Over the past few years a mild air of dissatisfaction has begun to taint the musty atmosphere of antiques centres. At least it has for us and the culprit is Ercol furniture. Nothing wrong with Ercol if that is how your tastes evolved. The quality seems pretty good and the company is still around making more of it, but we have two problems with it infesting the antiques trade.

Firstly there is the disconcerting fact that a style we grew up with is now labelled as 'antique'. Oh dear - are we that old? Labelling it as 'retro' helps a little but 'vintage' is no great improvement. Not that we ever bought any Ercol but it helped define the seventies interior and now gives an unwelcome nudge about those aspirations we nurtured only a few decades ago.

Secondly it is too obvious where much of this Ercol is coming from. Oldies who bought it to furnish their houses are downsizing, moving into retirement homes or dying. As it is now worth money, their lovingly polished furniture passes into the antiques trade.

I suppose one might call it recycling. Even that sounds better than 'antique'... or maybe it doesn't.


Michael said...

Good point!

We bought 'Cintique' furniture back in the eighties as we both had 'bad backs'!

It all lasted (with one re-cover), until a couple of years ago and was always very comfortable and well made. I asked the removal guy what would happen to them when we replaced them!

'Straight in the skip' was the answer...

The frames were perfect, and I almost wept, then thought 'Aw, sod it, they're only old chairs now...'!

Sam Vega said...

Surprised and quite pleased to see it's still going. I remember trying to read a newspaper as a child in the 1960s, and struggling with the word "ErcoLion" in one of the ads - which was their little mascot trademark.

wiggiatlarge said...

Ercol has been given the kiss of life by becoming a design classic and to some extent it is deserved, it followed similar Danish designs that are also now sought after as the cyclical design world rediscovers fifties furniture.

Demetrius said...

Well I never. We have one of those and a very good piece of furniture as furniture it is.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - my parents had Cintique type chairs which were basically sound but we still dumped when the time came.

Sam - much of it is quite stylish and practical and could be used for decades so yes, it is pleasing to see it still going.

Wiggia - it is a design classic but being so distinctive it isn't easy to mix it with different styles.

Demetrius - and easy to have reupholstered from the look of it.

Graeme said...

I look at the picture and my back aches. Were those things comfortable?

A K Haart said...

Graeme - I doubt it. Designed for looks over comfort I'd say. We have tried comfortable Ercol armchairs, but the piece in the picture seems to have neither head nor lumbar support.