Pair of Unique Custom Benches by Robsjohn-Gibbings

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Pair of unique and custom Robsjohn-Gibbings benches for the White Shadow commission, a mid-century residence custom-built in Rancho Mirage, California, for Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Davis, circa 1956. This pair of benches are featured in a large spread in the November 1958 issue of House Beautiful. Newly reupholstered.

Details

  • Date of Manufacture
    1956
  • Period
    1950-1959
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    18 in. H x 37 in. W x 20 in. D
    46 cm H x 94 cm W x 51 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Pawtucket, RI
  • Number of Items
    2
  • Reference Number
    LU90997204103

About T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (Designer)

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.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2011

Typical response time: 1 hour

Located in Pawtucket, RI

More from this Seller

Stool by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb
Stool by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb
T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
A rare and elegant stool designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings in 1957. This very clean example was manufactured by Widdicomb for a short time and features a walnut frame atop tapered bras...
Pair of Folding Benches - Stools by John Vesey
Pair of Folding Benches - Stools by John Vesey
John Vesey
A beautiful pair of extremely well engineered and designed folding benches from John Vesey. Made from brushed and lacquered aluminium with walnut handles. Bench seats with some age appr...
Three Barstools by Vista of California, circa 1950
Three Barstools by Vista of California, circa 1950...
Vista Furniture
Great example of California Mid-Century design.
Stool by Wharton Esherick
Stool by Wharton Esherick
Wharton Esherick
Hand-carved stool by Wharton Esherick, the Father of the American Studio Craft Movement. This iconic stool is an excellent example of Esherick's work and features a sculptural free-form...
Set of Three Jacques Adnet Leather Bar Stools
Set of Three Jacques Adnet Leather Bar Stools
Jacques Adnet
Leather
Elegant set of 3 tall leather wrapped bar stools designed by Jacques Adnet in a beautiful patinated brown leather. Leather wrapped legs and seats, also with brass-plated steel foot rest...
Finn Juhl Bench
Finn Juhl Bench
Finn Juhl
Brass, Steel, PVC
Finn Juhl designed table or bench manufactured by Bovirke,Denmark. Teak top,brass rails and enameled steel legs with teak wooden tips to bottom.Bench includes original cushion.
Swivel Stool by Tove & Edvard Kindt-Larsen for Thorald Madsens
Swivel Stool by Tove & Edvard Kindt-Larsen for Tho...
Tove & Edvard Kindt-Larsen
Leather, Teak
Finely detailed and well constructed leather,teak and rosewood stool by Tove & Edvard Kindt-Larsen and manufactured by Thorald Madsens Signed with label. Iconic Danish design.
Studio 65 Apple Stool
Studio 65 Apple Stool
Studio 65
Foam
Rare Iconic Italian pop design from Studio 65. Apple can function as either a stool or chair. Small pull to fabric,otherwise in excellent condition
Wharton Esherick Stool
Wharton Esherick Stool
Wharton Esherick
Beautiful Wharton Esherick stool with hickory legs and a sculpted walnut seat signed with carved signature "WE 1968".
William Armbruster Donut Stool MoMA
William Armbruster Donut Stool MoMA
William Armbruster
William Armbruster's donut stool for Edgewood Furniture Co. This stool was featured in the Modern of Modern Art, "Good Design" Exhibition, 1950. Excellent example of early American mode...
French Adjustable Stool
French Adjustable Stool
Unknown
Interesting French architectural stool. Interesting form with a adjustable leather seat. Stool with a high-gloss French polish. Some loss to finish.
Darrell Landrum Iron Sofa for Avard
Darrell Landrum Iron Sofa for Avard
Darrell Landrum
A rare Darrell Landrum wrought iron, steel, and fabric sofa for Avard Furniture Co., New York, New York, designed 1949, and produced circa 1955. The base is composed of 3 large connecte...