During the 1930’s many English homes had among their contents, furniture of the finest quality in the Art Deco style that came from very humble origins in the back streets of the East End of London.
In the late 19th century Jewish cabinet makers emigrated from the Baltic States and the Balkans to form a cabinet-making colony in the East End of London mainly around the Shoreditch Area.
Morris Epstein was one of these skilled immigrant craftsmen his six sons followed him into the furniture trade. In 1929 two of the brothers Harry and Louis formed H&L Epstein furniture designers and manufacturers they created some of the best British Art Deco period furniture ever produced.
In the 1930's the Epstein company was considered to be a large firm of fifteen men with Harry and Lou at the helm, Harry the designer and Lou the cabinet-maker working with a highly skilled team of craftsmen mainly from Eastern Europe. They prided themselves on making furniture by hand only using the finest materials,considered artists rather than tradesmen. With their origins in the Baltic lands and Balkans they were unaffected by the many forces which affected British furniture design such as the Arts and crafts movement, their designs being more influenced by their customers tastes who wanted avant-garde furniture as exhibited by the major French designers at the Paris 1925 Art Deco exhibition..
Harry Epstein an excellent designer with a great eye for shape and proportion his designs for the Cloud dining and lounge suites, boat based tables and cabinets are some of the most iconic Art Deco designs recognised today.
A lot of Epstein’s furniture was commission made so customers could order what they required.
In the early years of trading they retailed their furniture through East End furniture outlets such as Percy Young , Weinbau and Caplan, eventually opening their own shops in London ,Manchester ,Dublin and Glasgow.
Epstein Furniture before world war two does not bear a makers mark, later pieces from the 1950’s sometimes have an ivorine label stamped H&L Epstein Ltd or Epstein & Goldman.
Most pre war Epstein pieces are identified by their style, quality and manufacturing techniques.
If you would like more information please contact us on 07733115044.