T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings - Design New York Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | Phillips
  • T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings’s most recognizable designs are those that were inspired by, and in some instances directly derived from, Ancient Greek furniture. From the beginning of his career in the early 1930s up until 1972, when the present stools were introduced—just four years before his death—he returned to these forms that lingered in his creative imagination. 

    “The furniture of classical Greece is the prototype of furniture of the Western world.”
    —T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

     While living in London in 1933, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings frequently visited the British Museum sketching the furniture designs depicted in the amphorae and sculptures that he saw. A few years later he moved to the United States where he created furniture designs, such as his now-iconic Klismos chair, which were taken directly from ancient models. He paused this interest after World War II, and began working for American furniture manufacturers such as Widdicomb, before moving to Greece in 1960, where he reignited his interest in classical furniture. 


     T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings seated on stone seat in Greece, 1969. 

    After meeting Susan and Eleftherios Saridis in Athens, Robsjohn-Gibbings collaborated with the couple’s firm to produce nineteen pieces of furniture, including stools, tables, chairs, and one couch, which were all made after designs from the 6th to the 4th centuries B.C. Robsjohn-Gibbings hosted an exhibition in 1961 to display these pieces and the catalogue noted, “While these classical models because of their timeless forms can be used today, it is not the sole purpose of the exhibition to re-create classical Greek furniture. We hope that the designers of Greece inspired by the beauty of their national furniture will create contemporary furniture equally beautiful, timeless, Greek.” 


    Nearly a decade later, Robsjohn-Gibbings released another set of furniture designs inspired by Grecian furniture and manufactured by Saridis. The present stools are part of this second collection of designs. The Saridis catalogue for this model describes it as: “Model no. 26 with frame in Greek walnut and crossed animal legs in bronze. Leather thongs on seat. Design taken from an amphora by the ‘Affecter’ vase painter, 6th century B.C., in the British Museum, London.” 


    Amphora, attributed to The Affecter, 540-520 BC. 


    The designs were presented in the United States at the Greek Trade Center. In the New York Times, Rita Reif covered the exhibition and described the present model stool, in particular, writing, “[It] might well spark a revival in traditional furniture of the carved animal leg. A folding stool—inspired by one shown on a 6th century B.C. Greek vase—has a leather thong seat framed in walnut and an X-shaped bronze base of four turned-in legs ending in handsomely chiseled hoofs.”

    • Literature

      Furniture from Greece, exh. pamphlet, Greek Trade Center, New York, 1972, n.p.

Property of a Distinguished Collector


Pair of stools, model no. 26

circa 1972
Bronze, walnut, leather.
Each: 16 3/8 x 25 3/4 x 22 in. (41.6 x 65.4 x 55.9 cm)
Manufactured by Saridis, Athens, Greece. Underside of each with manufacturer's brass label printed DESIGNED BY - T.H. ROBSJOHN GIBBINGS/MANUFACTURED BY - SARIDIS OF ATHENS. The underside of one walnut frame impressed 78138 and the other impressed 9874.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $53,340

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Benjamin Green
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New York Auction 5 December 2023