Rare White and Newton bar box by Phillip Hussey , one more item from our bucket list found at last !
I first saw this beautiful piece illustrated in a White and Newton catalogue 4 or 5 years ago when i was lucky enough to meet Phillip Hussey at his home . I’d never seen one for sale before until this one turned up in an auction looking a little tired , and obviously well used by it’s original owner . Luckily all the marks and signs of wear were superficial . I don’t like using the word “stunning ” as it’s overused by some sellers , but for once i think it’s truly appropriate .
Having spoken to Phillip Hussey recently he confirms that very few of them were made , and it was probably intended more as an Exhibition piece than one to be sold in commercial enough volume . It was apparently also made with teak veneers which would not be as much a statement as this rosewood veneered one . White and Newton rarely used rosewood , but they certainly chose a fantastic grain for the front of this one . The interior is lined in sycamore .
The original catalogue says ” By simply lifting the top by means of the handles until the serving surface is level and then lowering , the cabinet presents a bar at the correct height . To close , the top has simply to be lifted to the full extent and then lowered forward . The action is simple , positive and strong ” .
In a relatively small space there is room to hang stemmed glasses , a shelf for tumblers as well as spaces for a number of bottles of different heights . It was described as a Drinks Cabinet !
Phillip Hussey joined White and Newton as their chief designer in 1964 when he was only 24 and stayed with the company for about 20 years until it closed in the early 1980’s . An extremely talented furniture designer , he later went on to teach design in High Wycombe . This piece was launched in early 1965 , so it was one of his first designs for White and Newton of Portsmouth .
Bar boxes and the like were luxury items and they don’t turn up for sale very often . We’re still waiting to find the only other British competitor to this by G Plan , which was given the lovely title of ” Liquor Locker ” ! We’ve only seen this illustrated in the High Wycombe G Plan archive , so it’s equally rare , and only made in teak . The only other similar pieces are equally rare and were made in Denmark .If you have a G Plan Liquor Locker we’d love to tick that off our Bucket List so please let us know .