Here’s something from G Plan we’ve never had before!
We’ve been buying and selling 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s vintage G Plan for around 10 years and yet we still keep finding pieces we’ve never seen before. In the early 1960’s G Plan introduced numerous pieces that were made for only a very short period of time. Some like the Limba series weren’t that nice and were commercial failures. Others may have been too different for their time. Some like these pieces from their little known “Living Wall system” deserved to sell well and establish themselves in later catalogues.
The Living Wall system was made up of various cabinets and bookcases that could, like this set stand alone. There were also elements that were designed to stack on base units. It appears in a 1963 New Models Folder according to the G Plan High Wycombe archives. It isn’t shown in any of the many catalogues we have in our collection. So we’re assuming that it was only made for a year or two. It certainly wasn’t cheap as the open bookcase section was priced at £16 10 shillings which in today’s money allowing for historic inflation is almost £350. So the items in the set we have will be around £1200 in today’s money.
By the second half of the 1960’s G Plan seemed to have settled down and designs usually were made for a number of years. There are no longer any pieces from after 1966 that we have yet to see. However looking through the G Plan archives there are an amazing number of pieces that rarely come up for sale. There is a lovely teak box described as a ” Liquor Locker ” that we’ve yet to see anywhere. Also some octagonal small tables that apparently had various tops. ( teak , rosewood and laminates )
Richard Young designed a fabulous table with 3 legged chairs that at first sight look like a Hans Wegner design. We’ve yet to have one but have seen 1 set a few years ago. It will have been a lot cheaper than the Wegner design it was based upon. Probably too modern for G Plan buyers at the time. Some of Ib Kofod Larsen’s designs for G Plan were considered as too “Danish” for the British market so were never put into production unfortunately.
In 1964 G Plan introduced the Mainstream sideboard, table and chairs. This never sold in any quantities whereas the Brasilia range of the same time was highly successful. Made for 7 or 8 years before the Fresco range eventually replaced it completely.
The retailers back in the day would often decide what designs they thought were right and show them to best advantage. Naturally they usually had a good idea of what their customers were likely to buy and stock those ranges accordingly. Some customers would buy from the many coloured catalogues that G Plan produced over the years. If pieces weren’t in the catalogues they had less chance of taking off. However we’ve yet to see the “spider” coffee table in any G Plan catalogue. It was actually the true one and only “astro” rather than the circular and oval astro tables that commonly appear all over the country in fairly large numbers! The “spider” astro although rare must have been relatively successful at the time as they do turn up fairly regularly.