Lefroy Brooks Classic chinaware
The great classic bathrooms of the past covered four distinct periods in history.
- 1. The first was the curvaceous Victorian style introduced around 1870 (Lissa Doon); Lissa Doon, a legendary Scottish castle half lost in the mist of time, was home to the Dukes of Baldoyle for many generations. It was restored in 1876 by James Baldoyle, the fifth earl, following his return from a grand tour full of inspiration from Europe’s finest classical furniture he commissioned local craftsmen. The originals for this bathroom sanitaryware were designed at this time.
2. There was then a gap till the more structured features of the post Edwardian sanitaryware which originated after the turn of the twentieth century around 1918 (Charterhouse).
3. Simultaneously in France they were developing their own turn of the century style (La Chapelle) beautifully feminine and of course perfectly proportioned.
A skip in a narrow side street of Paris may be a strange place to find inspiration for a great classic. However this basin and subsequently discovered bidet and lavatory are one of the truly historic suites of European sanitaryware. Cinq St. Sophie has yielded up the most wonderful example of turn of the century French chinaware. the honest, bold, and exact geometry are a marvel of classic vision. Research suggests the basin was developed by Henri Blanc, younger son of Louis Blanc who had begun a sanitaryware business near Orsay outside Paris. The factory was subsequently established around 1902 in the 18th arrondissement at ‘La Chapelle’.
4. Later after the great war in the mid twenties and thirties the deco movement took hold and a more solid, angular design developed (Metropole).
By the nineteen thirties British sanitaryware manufacturers had begun exporting to the ‘new world’. This classic suite in the deco discipline appeared in many fine Manhattan apartments and hotels. The particular example chosen for its almost perfect proportions and strict adherence to the 1930s style was in fact discovered in a loft conversion in Tribeca. It had originally come out of the famous Metropole Hotel off central park during a refurbishment in the nineteen seventies. In a curious ‘play back’ of history it was faithfully recreated by Lefroy Brooks in England.
New York in the nineteen thirties lead the world in style with its new automobiles, the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, Frank Lloyd Wright, ‘high society’ and above all jazz. The angular simplicity of this range expresses all that was correct in a new explosion of design and culture. Both timeless and timely this basin will remain a classic design for all time.