Ercol : Furniture in the Making is said to be the book that post-war design enthusiasts have been waiting for. It tells the fascinating story of Ercol, one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful furniture companies. Founded in 1920 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire by Italian-born Lucian Ercolani (1888-1976), who came to Britain at the age of 10, Ercol is still going strong today and the company is still family-owned and run.
A gifted designer and an impassioned entrepreneur, Lucian Ercolani was the creative driving force behind Ercol for more than 50 years. The book focuses on the Windsor Range, his supreme creation, a coordinated collection of domestic furniture inspired by the traditional English Windsor chair.
Initially developed towards the end of the Second World War as part of the government’s Utility scheme, Ercol’s Windsor Contemporary Furniture Family was launched at the Festival of Britain in 1951. A run-away success, it was expanded throughout the 1950s and 60s, encompassing a diverse array of kitchen, dining, living room and bedroom furniture in an appealing and harmonious style.
Made from solid wood using a distinctive combination of beech and elm, the Windsor Range married the modern with the vernacular, combining advanced technology with superb craftsmanship. Drawing on Ercol’s rich archives, as well as stunning new photography, the book explores the Windsor Range in detail, showing how the designs have evolved over the years, and how the furniture was (and still is) manufactured – hence the title, ercol : furniture in the making.
Researched and written by design historian Lesley Jackson, a leading authority on 20th century design, the book provides a visual feast for Ercoloholics. Appealing to a wide audience, including post-war design buffs, collectors, students and anyone interested in interiors, it is lavishly illustrated and attractively designed.
Whether remembering Ercol during its heyday or have discovered the delights of the Windsor Range more recently, this book provides essential reading and offers a definitive guide. A tale of creative ingenuity, engineering prowess and marketing flair, ercol : furniture in the making celebrates a great British success story. Happily, Ercol continues to flourish today at its modern factory at Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, where the Windsor Range is still produced alongside innovative new furniture developed by the company’s in-house design team and leading freelancers, such as Matthew Hilton and Russell Pinch.