Sir Edwin Lutyens

Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) is often described as the greatest British architect of his age. His prolific career encompassed manifest numbers of country houses, fine commercial buildings, monuments and, as perhaps his greatest achievement, the Viceroy's House, the centrepiece of New Delhi, the city for which he was responsible. Stylistically, he never fitted into any single school or movement inasmuch as the mark he left was always his own. Although influenced early on by the Arts and Crafts movement of his youth, and later by the discipline of the classical ideal, his eclecticism was such that he was more concerned with the intricacies of his own aesthetic principles. That Lutyens was a designer of furniture is not well known. His designs, though numerous, were always produced in small quantities and for a specific effect that was always a complement to the whole. Sadly, almost no Lutyens's interiors survive intact and many pieces of furniture have been lost. Thus it is that Lutyens's furniture has never become part of the general consciousness, although on the merits of the designs alone it should rank with, and take its natural place alongside the furniture of all the 'Twentieth Century Greats'. As with his architecture, Lutyens in his furniture designs makes specific reference to, and is influenced by, the substance and course of the great English tradition of furniture making.

Similarly too, the form, the style and the synergy all bear the stamp of his own individuality. Precise and intricate mathematical details lend an element of surprise and Lutyens's well-renowned love of jokes and 'visual puns' is self-evident in many of the tricks he employs. The result is, like many of his buildings, absolutely controlled yet somehow astonishing - at first sight conventional, yet encompassing at a second glance both the whimsical and the paradoxical. In making Lutyens's furniture to his own drawings, the task of Lutyens Furniture & Lighting was both unique and daunting in its application. Our responsibility to the designs dictated that our prime and overriding principle is that the quality of what we produce should be as high as is possible to achieve. We therefore go to considerable lengths to employ the best craftsmanship that is available, in using traditional methods of construction and upholstery, and to comply with Lutyens's own tastes in terms of materials and timbers. As a result, we have total confidence that these pieces will continue for generations as furniture always used to and as it should.

- Candia Lutyens