The Masters of Mid Century and Modern: Part 1

Nicholas Wells Antiques may specialise in 18th and 19th-century furniture, but we absolutely adore Mid-century and Modern design too. We have some truly exceptional pieces – elegant, sometimes opulent, sometimes restrained, they are hugely varied. We are going to take a closer look at some of the designers responsible.

Willy Rizzo

Possibly the epitome of ‘Hollywood Glam’? Willy Rizzo was an Italian photographer who began, in the post-war years, to capture the likeness of some of the most celebrated celebrities in the United States and around the world. From the 1960s, Willy Rizzo began designing furniture and which became in extremely high demand amongst the rich and fabulous, and received commissions from the likes of Salvador Dali and Brigitte Bardot. In the late 1970s, Rizzo returned to photography but began designing furniture again in the 1980s and 90s in collaboration with Paul Smith and Mallett Antiques.

Romeo Rega

Romeo Rega was an Italian Designer, born in 1904. He was one of the principal designers of the 1970s era associated with combining modernism with a sense of glamour within his furniture designs. His brand began towards the end of the 1960s and ceased production in 1981. His pieces can be identified by a double ‘R’ logo, and they are highly sought after within vintage and collector’s sales.

Syrie Maugham

Syrie Maugham was a prolific interior decorator of the 1920s and 1930s. Her impact on twentieth-century design cannot be understated, and she remains one of the key figures of design throughout the century. She had worked as an apprentice under Ernest Thornton-Smith, and when she was 42 years of age, in 1922, Syrie bought and established her own interior design business on Baker Street, in London. She became extremely successful, and by 1930 she had shops in New York, Chicago, and London. Maugham was particularly well known for popularising the decoration of rooms entirely in shades of white. She loved glass walls, opulent furnishings, and matching the old with the new. She would often ‘upcycle’ antique furniture by painting, stripping, or re-upholstering them.

Shop Midcentury and Modern at Nicholas Wells Antiques:

Pair of Brass, Chrome and smoked glass two tier end tables by Williy Rizzo
Pair of Brass, Chrome, and smoked glass two-tier end tables by Williy Rizzo
Flaminia Gold Plated and Marble End table by Willy Rizzo, Limited Edition for Mallett.
Flaminia Gold Plated and Marble End table by Willy Rizzo, Limited Edition for Mallett.
Brass and Chrome Table Lamp attributed to Rega
Brass and Chrome Table Lamp attributed to Rega