One of the attractions of being an (antique) Antique Dealer is the satisfaction of owning lovely things for a while. Not permanently, but long enough to appreciate the design and craftsmanship which once went into everyday artifacts such as this lovely Victorian Leather photograph album we sold recently.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that artistic product design in this Country has faded at the same rate as our Manufacturing base has withered, leaving our limited remaining factories to produce products designed by American, German and Japanese design offices. We tend to treat most everyday products as semi-disposable, utilitarian items and feel we no longer have the exciting design led movements of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco but merely fads and fashions which come and go like leaves on a tree.
The element of craft and hand-work may have departed but it is encouraging to note that there are still a few exciting product designers based in the Country, producing the wonderful style which appears when materials and functionality are brought together in original and interesting ways.
This quiet, unassuming but enthusiastic 82 year old has a name you may never have heard of yet I guarantee you have encountered one of his designs at close quarters. They include:
The Original 1958 London Parking Meter
The 1997 London Black Cab
The Kodak Instamatic
The Intercity 125
The Kenwood Mini Mixer
The Wilkinson Sword Razor
and many many more.
We could do with a few more Kenneth Granges around today, adding value and aesthetic appeal to ordinary objects and making them more "fit for purpose".
I'll give you a full run down once I've been down to the exhibition. Please try and contain yourselves.