When the Art Nouveau period appeared in Europe, the shape of furniture was simplified. Due to the use of natural wood and perfectly matched components, furniture was considered to be products of exceptionally high quality. Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo’s (1851-1942) furniture appeared at this time, an architect and designer from the circle of arts and crafts and the founder of the association of artists and craftsmen established in 1882 under the name Century Guild.
Mackmurdo furniture designed in the 1970s combined arts and crafts trends with the style referring to Japanese art. Characteristic of this period was searching for new, cheap and technological products, especially two technologies hot-curving wood and veneering, which exerted a significant influence on the development of design. The former was based directly on methods developed by Michael Thonet, gradually improved, but essentially the same. The latter perfectly met the requirements of Art Nouveau design, in practice providing the benefits of a twofold kind, cheap and aesthetically made products (Fig. 1.50).