Jules Wabbes Corner Desk with Drawers in Mutenyé
Jules Wabbes, corner writing desk, mutenyé, nickel-plated metal, aluminum, Belgium, 1957
Beautifully designed desk by one of Belgium's most renowned designers Jules Wabbes. This piece is made for the Foncolin building, one of Wabbes first large prestigious office projects, the piece is recognizable by the exquisite wood-joints on each corner. Wabbes' experimental ways of approaching wood and techniques used during producing his furniture, were far ahead for his time. This desk with one drawer compartment is another great example of his style. Executed with a solid mutenyé wooden top made of sawn slats and a nickel-plated metal frame. Beautiful details are the half-round dovetail joints on the side of each corners. Excellent design and high-quality desk.
Jules Wabbes (1919-1974) was one of the leading Belgian furniture designers and interior architects of the Postwar period. Born in Brussels in 1919, he began his career as an actor. However, after several other professions, he eventually started to become interested in antiques. When Wabbes was 24, he opened an antiques shop where some of the furniture needed restoration. Therefore, he created a small workshop where he taught himself how to restore furniture. Therefore, in contrast to many of his contemporaries, he wasn't trained as a designer or architect but learned the craft of designing furniture by sheer necessity. Alongside restoration, he also started to design furniture. Because of the success of his ventures, it led to Wabbes designing many interiors for his clients. In 1971, Wabbes became professor at the Sint-Lucasinstituut in Brussels. Unfortunately, Wabbes died at an early age in 1974 due to cancer.
Overall, his work is aristocratic and modest, and characterized by a sensual use of materials and a clear, almost architectural tectonics. Wabbes developed a line and idiom of its own, averse to the playful and swinging style of many other furniture designs of the Postwar period. Wabbes, influenced by American designers such as Edward Wormley, chose to build his furniture with solid wood giving his designs not only a luxurious appearance but also honest, timeless and sophisticated aesthetics.
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