The Past Perfect Collection is Singapore’s finest antique store offering an unrivalled choice of beautiful antique furniture from India. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that The Past Perfect Collection’s exclusive range of Art Deco Furniture comes from the city of Mumbai in India, known for its famous Art Deco architecture. The Art Deco movement had a strong presence in this city of global trade and its influence is seen in the furniture made there during this time.
The Art Deco style was first exhibited at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, in Paris. The style incorporates rich materials and elaborate designs such as bold geometric streaks and sleek, streamlined forms with an aerodynamic feel. Its influence is clearly visible in a diverse range of products from buildings, jewellery, automobiles and of course in Art Deco furniture.
Robert Bonfils. Poster for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs.
The Art Deco movement spread across the globe from Europe, to the United States and on to India and in particular Mumbai. Mumbai has the world’s second-largest collection of Art Deco buildings, second only to Miami and is a Unesco World Heritage site. There are estimated to be around 600 Art Deco buildings in Mumbai, mainly situated on Marine Drive where such buildings as Soona Mahal with its sweeping curves can be found. The area around the Oval Maidan is also known for Art Deco buildings and this is where you can find Shiv Shanti Bhuvan with its yellow-and-green color scheme.
Shiv Shanti Bhuvan - Art Deco building in Mumbai.
Unsurprisingly it is not only the architecture of Mumbai that was influenced by the Art Deco movement. The abundance of Art Deco furniture in the city is a testament to how the style flourished during the 1930s. It was around this time when interior design became popular for the home and modern furniture as it was known became fashionable. Newspapers and catalogues of the time were full of adverts for this style of furniture such as The Army & Navy Stores Ltd ‘Designs for Living’ promotions.
Art Deco Furniture, with its geometrical shapes, sleek vertical lines and smooth streamlined surfaces was a stark contrast to the traditional furniture made in India at that time, which was richly carved and elaborate in design. The cabinet makers in Mumbai adapted to this reaction against traditionalism and began to produce furniture made in this new modern style using locally available materials like rosewood and teakwood.
The Art Deco wardrobe displays contrasting cedarwood and rosewood, which forms angular geometric shapes on the bottom of the piece which is typical of the Art Deco movement. Furthermore, towards the top, a stylised inverted triangle, fans outward which itself is another shape often found in Art Deco design. The smooth, curved sides are in keeping with the streamlined forms popular towards the end of the Art Deco movement, while the handles, featuring stylised foliage, are in keeping with the early formative years of Art Deco.
The dark rosewood ‘stripes’ on the desk doors and cylinder fall front are typical of the bold Art Deco style which frequently used different colours of wood to create pattern. Straight lines along with mathematical geometric shapes were often featured on Art Deco furniture and can be seen in the geometric ornament on top of the gallery. The curved streamlined cabinet doors add to the overall Art Deco influence seen in this desk.
The chairs and sofa feature one of the most popular Art Deco motifs, the sunburst. The form of the sunburst has been simplified to its geometric essentials, fanning out towards the hand rest, which itself sweeps in a curved form typical of the style. This set, containing two chairs and a sofa, features the simple, clean shapes, characteristic of the Art Deco movement.
The Past Perfect Collection has a special selection of Art Deco furniture from Mumbai. The store is located in the historic Tiong Bahru area in Singapore. Tiong Bahru is an area of historical and architectural significance and is known for its attractive Art Deco architecture. A fitting place to be inspired by Art Deco and browse our Art Deco Furniture.