Ernesto Valabrega Extendable Dining Table in Oak
Ernesto Valabrega, dining table, oak, Italy, circa 1935
Ernesto Valabrega once again proves his great eye for materialization and great craftsmanship this dining table is exemplary for. The table is architecturally built based on the assemblage of parts through sophisticated wood joints. The decorative aspect of the wood joints makes them not only necessary for the construction but also has a strong impact on the design itself and showcases the high-level of craftsmanship this table has been made with. The wooden surface visualizes the artist’s hand and his movement to treat the wood with the use of intensive hand-planed and trimmed techniques. At first sight, the tabletop seems double layered, but in reality the under part consists of extendable leaves. A real masterpiece that will stand the test of time and serve as a standout in one's interior.
The dimensions of the table when not extended: 179 cm 70.47 in.
Italian designer Ernesto Valabrega (1901-1944) was born in Turin, as the son of celebrated designer and cabinetmaker Vittorio Valabrega (1861-1952). His father Vittorio was, together with his brother, the founder of Fratelli Valabrega (Valabrega Brothers Company, since 1884) that was situated in Turin. During the 1890s, Vittorio became the sole owner of the company and had great success with his refined wooden furniture. Vittorio Valabrega became well-known for his furniture in the floral Art Nouveau style, but as a true child of the 19th century, his company also manufactured furniture in Neo-Renaissance and the French Rococo Louis XV-style. His designs received positive attention and were awarded at World Exhibitions. At the famous exhibition in Paris in 1900, Vittorio even received a gold medal.
It was at the age of 24 that Ernesto got on board with his father’s business. His involvement from 1925 onwards had a great impact on the company. Ernesto decided to change the company’s name to Mobilart in 1928 and radically redirected the course. Whereas Vittorio was inspired by a variety of contemporary and historic styles, Ernesto chose for a different approach. He renounced the 19th century mixture of styles and approached furniture design in the same manner as the highly influential William Morris of the English Arts and Crafts movement. Their reform was an artistic reaction to the widespread industrialization of the 19th century.
Ernesto despised products of poor quality and chose high quality materials that would last a lifetime. The furniture he created in the late 1920 and 1930s are a true testament to his beliefs. With his irregular carvings of oakwood, the hammered hinges, flowing edges, embossed surfaces his furniture shows quality, attention to detail and ultimate craftsmanship.
Please note that this table is in good, used condition. There are some small irregularities visible on the ribbed parts around the table top, and there is a dent noticeable in the base of the table. These signs of wear and age are quite customary for a piece this age.
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