A wonderful vintage Ercol elm sideboard on castors. This tall credenza in Ercol’s Light color has a wonderful patina. The lower sideboard has three drawers with a useful sliding, removeable cutlery holder inside the top drawer. The bank of drawers is flanked by a shelved cupboard on either side. The upper cabinets have glazed doors with height adjustable and removable shelves. Between the upper cabinets are open shelves where you can store books or display glassware, ceramics, etc. This sideboard has lots of storage space, looks stylish from all angles and has its original castors, making it easy to move around. The upper and lower cabinets are held together securely by the original Ercol fastenings but the cabinets can be split and moved around separately if required.
In 1889, Italian-born Lucian Ercolani (1888-1976) immigrated with his parents to England, settling in East London. His father—who constructed picture frames for the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and took up work as a carpenter for the Salvation Army in London—urged Ercolani to follow in his footsteps. Ercolani studied drawing and design at the Shoreditch Technical Institute, before sitting the City & Guild exams in the theory and construction of furniture. In 1907, he made his first piece of furniture, a musical cabinet. At school he met Ted Gomme, the man who would later co-found G-Plan, and with whom he developed a lifelong friendship which outlived their working relationship, which lasted until 1920.
Like many British firms, Ercol supported the war effort, producing over 25,000 tent pegs a day, while both of Lucian’s sons, who worked in the family business, fought in the war. In 1944, Ercol was offered a huge contract to supply the Board of Trade with 100,000 low cost Windsor chairs. Ercol had uncovered a new way of utilizing elm, a natural resource in the High Wycombe forest that had been neglected as a timber due to its unruly and brittle nature. Using a special technique and new machinery, Ercol was able to manipulate the elm into a beautiful product. The process began with natural seasoning—drying the wood for one to two years outside—followed by kilning—steaming the wood in a large, enclosed room. In 1947, the first pieces from their Windsor Collection were available for purchase—which Ercol exhibited the year previously at the Britain Can Make It exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Ercol’s collection of mass-produced furniture found a ready-made market in post-war Britain, which demanded smaller pieces with simpler lines than their more bulky pre-war counterparts.
H162 x W156 x D44cm