Richard Hornby for Fyne Ladye Furniture table + 4 chairs
Richard Hornby designed for the small quality maker of Fyne Ladye Furniture of Banbury in the late 1950s and early 1960s . The company must have closed circa 1965 as nothing we’ve seen by them looks to have been designed after around 1962 . We’ve got a pricelist of their pieces from 1961 , but have yet to find any catalogues .
Virtually all the pieces we see by them are in solid afromosia , and only occasionally do we see their pieces in teak . Afromosia is a darker type of wood that is sometimes given other names like African teak . The use of solid woods like this are rarely seen by British makers after around 1962 due to the costs involved in sourcing the right timber .
Many pieces by Fyne Ladye Furniture are unlabelled as they were often sold through up-market small retailers who didn’t like makers own labels to be found on furniture . This set is labelled for Maples of London who were a large quality company at this time , but were soon to be merged with Waring + Gillows to become part of a large chain under the successful Leeds businessman Manny Cousins , who was Chairman of Leeds United when they were one of the most successful English football clubs of their day . The 1960s was an era when the furniture manufacturing and retailing industry was changing fast and we think that Fyne Ladye Furniture must have either closed or been taken over in the early 1960s . The use of solid timber and good quality craftsmanship allied to the simple clean lines of the pieces designed by the talented Richard Hornby mean that pieces such as their lovely sideboards have become very sought after today .
This lovely dining table with its 4 chairs came with a sideboard which we needs a little cleaning as there are a couple of marks to the top . However the table is in lovely vintage condition as it is , and all the chairs need is new upholstered seats ( not hard for our upholsterer to do ) and a quick oil with Danish or teak oil . As with many British tables , even those by premium makers such as Fyne Ladye , unfortunately it was designed to take no more than 6 chairs , and as was so often the case at the time the original owners only bought 4 chairs . This would have been a major purchase c 1960 so young buyers would often only buy 4 dining chairs , whereas today people usually buy at least 6 and often 8 .