|Settle with tilting back that turned into a table *|
First there was the settle. Yep, bad name. It was a wood bench basically with a back panel and side panels or arms. Think of it as a church bench with a higher back. The reason it's a big deal is that it was pretty big and heavy so it was not easy to move, which "was evidence of the increasingly stable household that accompanied the rise of the middle class in the late Middle Ages."** There were versions of the settle that included the back tilting to create a table top and some that had storage under the seat.
After the settle came the settee in the 17th century, which is like an armchair that got stretched out. A settee was usually upholstered and provided seating for two or more people. It's changed a lot over the years but the same idea applies.
By the mid-18th century there was the sofa. It was a more casual solution to seating than the more formal settee, with an upholstered seat, back and arms and allowing for two or more people to sit. After 1830, when coil-spring deep buttoned upholstery was invented the sofa became even more popular.
I first learnt of Orrefors glass when I came across a pair of lamps similar to these:
|Pair of dark blue Orrefor lamps available at Quotient|
Styles and public views never stay constant for too long and as the years passed Orrefors designs morphed to meet new demands. Historical styles such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco were being banished for modern Industrial styles led by Germany by the 1930s. Form follows function was the new philosophy. Orrefors designs employed less engraving and more glass blowing at this time as the company again tried to redefine its style. The qualities of glass, as a material, were celebrated and how the pieces were created was made clear, in a way returning to the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s.
Come the 1950s Orrefors was part of a global focus on Scandinavian design that again allowed the company the opportunity to be acknowledge for its beautiful and skillful work. Designers such as Nils Landberg, created stunning pieces for Orrefors that are, once again, in high demand.
Orrefors is still in business selling glass products, http://www.orrefors.us/ but I have to admit the older pieces have more allure!
|Nils Landberg for Orrefors at gallery L7|
$520 each piece
* Orrefors Glass by Alastair Duncan pg. 26
This one made me appreciate all the geometry that makes simple arches look so, well, so beautifully simple.