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Jules Wabbes 'Tonneau' Writing or Dining Table in Solid Wengé and Steel

Sale price$8,700.00

Jules Wabbes, 'Tonneau' dining or writing table, wengé, chrome-plated steel, Belgium, 1960s

The 'Tonneau' model, named after the French word for 'barrel,' embraces a wengé wooden top crafted from rectangular-shaped sawn slats, resulting in a mesmerizing pattern across its surface. The base consists of a chrome-plated steel framework with a minimalist layout. Notably, the construction and joints are intentionally exposed, creating a transparent view of the desk's meticulous craftsmanship. The wengé gives the desk its defining, distinctive look, with its pronounced grains and expressive pattern, breaking the strict lines that characterize the overall appearance. In this design, nothing is concealed—everything is meant to be seen and appreciated.

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.

Kindly note that the table is in good, used condition with signs of age and use. For further details, we encourage you to reach out to our team of design specialists.

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Product Details

  • condition Good
  • creator Jules Wabbes (Designer)
  • date of manufacture 1960s
  • dimensions Height 29.93 in. Width 83.86 in. Depth 35.44 in.
  • dimensions Height 76 cm Width 213 cm Depth 90 cm
  • material Chrome Steel Wenge
  • origin Belgium
  • period 1960-1969
  • style Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • barcode 490009064