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T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

British, 1905-1976

British-born designer, interior decorator and author T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905–76) was one of the great American tastemakers in the middle decades of the 20th century. Much like Edward Wormley, Robsjohn-Gibbings was a design classicist by education and inclination, but he would come to create some of the most gracious and livable modern furnishings of the era.

Robsjohn-Gibbings studied architecture at the University of London, then held various jobs that included designing décors for passenger liners and working as the art director of a film studio. In the early 1930s, while employed by the upper-crust interior designer Charles J. Duveen, Robsjohn-Gibbings experienced an epiphany during a visit to the British Museum. Examining the furniture depicted on ancient Greek ceramics — lithe stools and klismos chairs — he realized that he had found a design touchstone. By 1936, he had moved to New York and set up a showroom on Madison Avenue for his modern reinterpretations of classic Greek designs. Aided by contacts he’d developed while working with Duveen, he quickly established a clientele that included Elizabeth Arden, Doris Duke and Thelma Chrysler Foy.

Through his writings for magazines and books, Robsjohn-Gibbings earned a public following and was established as an urbane arbiter of taste. From 1943 to 1956, he produced an understated line of modernist furnishings for Widdicomb, which included one of the icons of the period: the tiered, biomorphic Mesa coffee table (1951). Robsjohn-Gibbings moved to Athens, Greece, in 1966, and created a new line of antiquity-inspired pieces for the firm Saridis. The series turned out to be his swan song.

Collectors’ interest in Robsjohn-Gibbings was reignited in the 1980s, when the 200-plus pieces from his 1936–38 commission for the Bel-Air estate of Los Angeles socialite Hilda Boldt Weber — pared-down neoclassical pieces rendered in blond wood (with the occasional flourish) — came on the market. (Up until then, the collection had remained in the house, despite its having changed hands several times.) 

But his work for Widdicomb remains his most widely known, appreciated for its elegance and generous proportions. Robsjohn-Gibbings despised the stern aesthetic associated with his Bauhaus contemporaries, and a keynote of his modernist pieces is that they have no sharp angles. His chair and sofa frames, table legs and even many cabinets feature softly contoured edges. In whatever styled he designed, Robsjohn-Gibbings was guided by simplicity and timelessness. He wanted his furniture to be lived with happily.

Iconic Designs from T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Tripod Floor Lamp
Tripod Floor Lamp
Colosseum Cocktail Table
Colosseum Cocktail Table
Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Walnut Saber Leg Nightstand, Newly Refinished
By Widdicomb Furniture Co., T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Located in South Bend, IN
An exceptional Mid-Century Modern saber leg nightstand or end table By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb USA, 1950s Sculpted walnut, with porcelain drawer pulls in gold-c...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Porcelain, Walnut

Pair T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings Tiered Side Tables
By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Located in Brooklyn, NY
An early architectural Gibbings design, c. 1940s, in mahogany. The slightly elongated bottom shelf disrupts the overriding simplicity. Widdicomb labels. Table tops are 28" long.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Mahogany

Robsjohn Gibbings Widdicomb Nightstand Side Table with Raffia Cane Covered Pull
By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Located in Ferndale, MI
Nice original finish T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings for Widdicomb nightstand or side table. Raffia or cane covered drawer pull on brass tone legs. Tagged with Robsjohn Gibbings Widdicomb lab...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Walnut

Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Klismos Leg Cocktail Table
By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Mid-Century Modern walnut klismos leg coffee table or cocktail table designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb furniture. Elegant and graceful square top with a two-tier desig...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Walnut

Black Lacquer Gibbings Triangular Coffee Side Occational Table
By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, John Widdicomb
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Nice mid century modern coffee table by Robsjohn Gibbings for Widdicomb in black lacquer.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Lacquer

Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Black Lacquered Nightstands, Newly Refinished
By Widdicomb Furniture Co., T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous pair of Mid-Century Modern nightstands By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb USA, 1950s Black lacquered walnut, with unique brass and lacquered spear-shaped dra...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Brass

Robsjohn-Gibbings Lounge Chair for Widdicomb
By T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Located in St. Louis, MO
Designer: Robsjohn-Gibbings Manufacture: Widdicomb Period/style: Mid-Century Modern Country: US Date: 1950s Recently reupholstered. A wife and grandma owned it. Has not cracked 100,...
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Wood

Robsjohn Gibbings Widdicomb Side End Table
By Widdicomb Furniture Co., T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Located in New York, NY
Rare and hard to find form, designed by Robsjohn Gibbings for Widdicomb. This exceptional example has been newly professionally refinished, it is in extra clean and ready to use cond...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Materials

Mahogany

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