Responsible for designing over 200 pieces of furniture in Hilda Boldt Weber’s Bel Air mansion Casa Encantada, British designer and writer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976) brought a fresh interpretation to neo-classical furniture design to the mid-20th century. While studying in London, Robsjohn-Gibbings gained experience as a draftsman and then continued his formal education at the University of Liverpool, London University, and the Slade School of Fine Art. He moved to New York to pursue a career with the Elizabethan furniture importer, Charles of London, where his design sensibility took shape. The designer’s lifelong fascination with classical design was showcased at his newly opened Madison Avenue studio with his first line of furniture, Sans Epoque, described by Robsjohn-Gibbings as “a new form of clear-cut beauty based on ancient traditions of purity of line…form without period because pure beauty is everlasting.” It was at Casa Encantada that Robsjohn-Gibbings was given the opportunity for the Sans Epoque philosophy to flourish. Working closely with the Peterson Studios in Santa Barbara, he supplied Greek, Roman, and Egyptian themed furniture for each of the sixty-four rooms, including this pair of Cupid end tables. In 1986, some of Robsjohn-Gibbings’ era-defining designs from Casa Encantada were featured in High Styles: Twentieth-Century American Design at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
– Paul Des Marais, Contributing Writer
Head, Jeffrey. “T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.” Modern Americana: Studio Furniture from High Craft to High Glam. Ed. Todd Merrill and Julie V. Iovine. New York: Rizzoli, 2008. 194-205. Print.
Pair of Sans Epoque Tables
Custom, designed circa 1930
Retains “Sans Epoque Robsjohn-Gibbings” stamp
25.75” x 15” x 15”