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Revived in 2000 after a two-decade halt in production, the Butterfly Chair remains as relevant today as it was when it first launched it in postwar London in 1956. Its seductive curves suggest an old world sensibility of the chair's Florence-born designer Lucian Randolph Ercolani, coupled with the modernist mission of the British furniture factory he founded after he relocated to Britain in 1920 and which christened Ercol. Ercolani's development of a singular technique of steam-bending wood into curves without warping allows for the chair's enduringly graceful lines. We love its comfort and its versatility for a variety of uses.
“I am lucky enough to remember Lucian as a very benign grandfather who gave me my first bicycle and, later, taught me the pleasure of drinking Chianti,” says Edward Tadros, current chairman and grandson of Ercol’s founder. “But he was also absolutely instrumental in creating my interest and curiosity in art and design.” He’s speaking of Lucian Ercolani, the icon of British modernism, who founded the company in 1920 after having moved to London from his native Italy.
Best known for its midcentury Originals that are still produced today, Ercol sought to offer a contemporary version of handmade British furniture. Initially, the collection was inspired by classic Windsor styles, a nod to the heritage of Chiltern Hills near the first factory. The “old man” as he is referred to in company lore had made his first piece of furniture in 1907. From that auspicious start, Ercol continues to stand for timeless contemporary design and a continuity of craft.