ercol originals

The ercol Originals are pieces of timeless and classic design that never date or show their age. It is furniture that is as relevant and as functional now as it was when it was created in the 1950s and 1960s.

This furniture was designed by ercol’s founder, Lucian Ercolani, who drew for his inspiration on the time proven local design and craft in the Chiltern Hills around where he lived and built his first factory in 1920 in High Wycombe.

ercol originals

Originals

Design direction

The chairs are simple evolutions of the classic Windsor chair.  Lucian Ercolani was responding to a Board of Trade contract in 1943 when he first worked on adapting the country Windsor chair into a production friendly design. The simple definition of a Windsor chair is that the back and legs are attached to the seat. This definition gives the designer great room to select different themes and create huge variety. These dining chairs were made in the countryside by “bodgers” for many centuries before Lucian took on the idea in the middle of the 20th century.

Using the strength of beech and the beauty of elm he carried this definition on into a huge variety of dining, kitchen, and school chairs and then extended the idiom into the low easy chair range epitomised by the 206 armchair and the studio couch. Lucian was prolific in putting his mind to huge variety. The soft curves of the bows were the inspiration for the soft curves of the table tops with their softly thumb-moulded edges.

The beauty of the colour and the grain of the elm took Lucian on to use elm for the tables and cabinets of the Originals and the following Windsor range.

The Originals are achieving a position in the pantheon of classic designs of the 20th century,   designs still relevant and new to those who meet them for the first time in the 21st century. They have become a much sought after British classic.

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Ercol Originals

Available wood colours

Available wood colours

Clear Lacquer

Clear Lacquer

Straw

Straw

Light Finish

Light Finish

Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn

Fruitwood

Fruitwood

Traditional

Traditional

Special Light

Special Light

Mandarin

Mandarin

Black

Black

White

White

Navy

Navy

Yellow

Yellow

Lucian R Ercolani

Lucian R Ercolani, or the "Old Man" as he is affectionately known in the company, founded ercol in 1920. Born in Italy in 1888, Lucian's family moved to London in the 1890s. There he went to night school at the Shoreditch Technical Institute where he studied drawing, design and the theory and construction of furniture. In 1907 he made his first piece of furniture - a musical cabinet, inlaid with mother of pearl. Years later the company tracked this down and we still have it to this day.

The Old Man designed the company's products for many years. The Windsor range remains one of our most popular ranges over half a century after it was first launched in its original guise, whilst a few years ago we reintroduced some of Lucian's classic designs, which now form the ercol Originals.

Originals range
Lucian R Ercolani