Jules Wabbes Rare Single Bed in Elm with Metal Details
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Jules Wabbes, single bed, elm, metal, Belgium, 1960s
This particular bed is specifically designed as a hanging bed for the ferry boat ‘Reine Fabiola’. From 1963 to 1964, Jules Wabbes worked for the shipyards ‘Jos Boel en Zonen’, located in Temse, Belgium. Therefore, the tall looking headboard and footboard are attached to the low edge frame, which makes it easy to get in and out the bed. However, the bed can also be turned around to stand on the floor and not hang in between walls. The elegant bed is executed in elm and the color and grain are deep and warm. It is the color and richness of the wood that defines this slim and elegant frame. The shorter ends of the bed are pulled trough as legs and the frame has a lower edge on the front which makes it easy to get in and out the bed. The rest of the design is modest and simplistic yet graceful. The borders are thin and elegant and feature soft edges and rounded corners.
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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