Jules Wabbes Illuminated Library in Wood and Brass
Jules Wabbes for Mobilier Universel, bookcase, in brass and wood, Belgium, 1960s
Rare wall unit designed by master furniture-maker Jules Wabbes. This exceptional piece could be used as a bookcase in front of a wall or a room divider. The stunning system provides a very open look due to the slim construction while it contains several shelves and closed compartments for storage which makes it a highly versatile item. The three compartments are illuminated. Due the brass strip on the front they will create a marvellous golden glow upon the cabinet.
The cabinets are veneered with beautiful wood, with black panels on the back. Storage compartments with doors have black coated fronts and are executed in the same luxurious wood on the inside, including the shelves. The cabinet is crafted with high attention for details, such as the wooden joints of the compartments. The brass frame has an all-over patina which contributes to the unique character of this exceptional piece.
Jules Wabbes (1919-1974) was a Belgian furniture designer, architect and professor. He wasn't (as many of his contemporaries) trained as a designer or architect but learned the Craft of designer furniture by sheer necessity. When Wabbes was 24, he opened an antiques shop where some of the furniture was in need of restoration. Therefore, he opened a small workshop where he taught himself how to restore furniture. Alongside restoration he also started to design furniture. His work is aristocratic and modest, and characterised 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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