The little known Mid-Century British maker of teak Durable Suites Ltd kept a low profile as like a number of makers they sold mainly through the many retailers who liked to sell unbranded products . Occasionally you’ll find their labels on chests of drawers and other pieces but not on their coffee tables which can be really stylish and well made .
We’re constantly researching British makers and designers who were active in the 1960s and came across photos in a trade publication which showed some of their coffee tables , so we can now add a little more information . The company was set up in 1938 , but may have operated under a different name prior to that . Like most British middle market furniture makers the few labelled pieces that you find from the 1930s and 1950s are fairly standard designs for bedroom furniture which was a major part of most manufacturers business at the time . Firms such as McIntosh and Stag all produced very anonymous pieces that all looked very similar as that was what the market wanted until around 1960 .
In the 1960s a new market for modern contemporary furniture developed and many makers and retailers looked for products that were different , stylish and stood out a little . Buyers no longer wanted to copy what their parents and neighbours had , so more and more companies would either buy designs from design studios or employ in-house designers .
The dressing table is one of a few pieces we’ve had in the past along with some chests of drawers , and occasionally you’ll find one with a removeable sticky label marked Durable Suites Ltd . The coffee table is found now and again both with teak veneered tops like this one , but also with a shaped glass top with lovely incurved corners which floats neatly on top . We found a few different shapes illustrated in a mid-1960s trade publication when the design was launched .
We’ve always described these tables as manner of Peter Hvidt as they look similar to some of this well known designers coffee tables that are highly sought after by collectors today . The British versions by Durable Suites Ltd offer great value compared to the Danish originals , and they’re stylish and well made , so well worth looking out for .
The dressing tables and chests of drawers have very quirky and distinctive legs and bases . They’re pieces that people will either love or hate as they shout “we’re something different ” from the crowd of restrained models by G Plan and the like .