Design through time: a show of ’Humble’ tables and marble cuffs at Rose Uniacke

Design through time: a show of ’Humble’ tables and marble cuffs at Rose Uniacke

A love of craftsmanship and manufacturing techniques originally brought interiors designer Rose Uniacke and jewellery maker Stephanie Simon together. Uniacke’s delightful Pimlico shop recently became the discreet background for a show of ’Humble’ tables and marble cuffs, pieces that contrast greatly in scale, technique and material, but whose underlying concept found a common ground in exceptional artisan sophistication.

Uniacke’s collection of late 19th century and early 20th century wooden ‘Humble’ tables was inspired by two images of late 18th century rural life found at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The two pictures, a print by George Morland and a painting by William Redmore Bigg show the rural interiors of English cottages. Both images feature a ‘Cricket’ table, a basic wooden tripod style. An early example of domestic design as we know it, ‘they are humble yet undeniably beautiful or so rough, ready and functional that they cannot fail to talk to our current aesthetic’, says Uniacke. The designer and collector gathered a magnificent selection of vernacular furniture, shown at her shop in its raw, worn beauty.

The same honest design is found in Simon’s marble cuffs: exquisitely crafted out of black Belgian, White Carrara and Calacatta marbles, the sculptural pieces are enriched with subtle gold and diamond touches. Working with Italian specialist marble sculptors and developing her designs over two years, Simon has given a new life to the material and enhanced its precious, opulent aspects in this simple gesture.

Seen side by side, the two projects speak loudly of the imaginative power of design through time, and a limitless ingenuity that transcends materials and techniques.

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