Home 2021 – The Great House Extension Project (Bargain Furniture Find)

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Tuesday, 9th March 2021 – Furniture Find

I’m not a great one for antiques or vintage stuff if I have to hunt it out, but we do have one or two pieces that seem interesting, and just every so often, something comes along that you’re not expecting. There’s a space under the window in the lounge that was crying out for a bookshelf, and on Monday I spotted one on the Facebook Marketplace while I was listing some stuff we want to get rid of. It looked to be about the right size, and the person selling it wanted £10 for it. I asked her about the size, and it was just short enough to fit under the cill.

Yesterday I picked it up, and it does indeed fit perfectly. Further inspection showed me this label on the back.

I did some digging, and it seems I may have got a bargain, one that may actually be slightly older than me! During the 1950s and ‘60s, the renowned Danish designer Kai Kristiansen designed for Feldballes Møbelfabrik. Known as a major proponent of the Danish modern style, Kristiansen favoured well-joined teak and rosewood in many of his designs for Feldballes Møbelfabrik, which included desks, sideboards, chairs, and wall units. Kai Kristiansen’s most successful design was the FM Reolsystem Wall Unit (1957), and I think we may be looking at a section of one.

The FM-series is an elegant wall mounted shelving and dresser system. First produced by Feldballes Møbelfabrik, and later, from around 1960, by Fornem Møbelkunst. They were located in Aarhus, in Denmark, where the Feldballes Møbelfabrik specialized in the production of wooden furniture, especially storage, and display items. As there are two hanging brackets on the back of the unit, this backs that up rather neatly.

This modular shelving unit, which came in a variety of add-on shapes and sizes, had great success, not only in Scandinavia, but throughout the rest of Europe and in the United States. Other notable designs by Kristiansen include the FM 59 Desk (1950s) and No. 70 Desk (c. 1958). Although Kai Kristiansen was not the only designer to work for Feldballes Møbelfabrik, he was the most well-known.

And to think, I nearly bought something from Ikea for this space.

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