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Inspired by an 18th century original, Soane’s Chinoiserie Lantern represents the incredible craftsmanship involved in the area of metalworking. The North of England, once a world center for fine metalwork, is now home to only a few workshops, where the apprenticeship system is still in place, using the same Victorian machines that were used at the height of Britain’s industrial prowess. First, sheets of rolled copper are hand-cut. These are then beaten, soldered, color-treated and polished. Each Lantern is step by step individually hand crafted. There is no production line and nothing is ever mass produced.
By combining the superb design and workmanship of antique pieces with the highest quality British craftsmanship and the flexibility of custom furniture, they produce over 350 pieces, all in Britain. Sound great? Well, it is! In 2010, Soane was awarded the Luxury Craftsmanship Award by Walpole, a non-profit organization for the British luxury industry, which presents these awards to companies for their work in the luxury sector, recognizing outstanding achievements in design, craftsmanship, business and culture.
Soane is my kind of firm – a modern company that respects, seeks out and supports artisans with traditional skills and unparallelled workmanship. As much as we have advanced, there is still no substitute for hand made goods and outstanding craftsmanship, resulting in products of excellence in both quality and beauty. It is the attention to details and flexibility in production that sets Soane apart, unlike many other companies, who are more concerned with cost cutting, producing large quantities or working within tight time frames.
Soane’s pieces include both interpretations of 18th, 19th and 20th century originals as well as their own collections of furniture, lighting, door handles, glass and silverware. Customers include the world’s top interior designers (including Thierry Despont, Colefax & Fowler, David Collins and David Mlinaric), style setters from Mick Jagger to David Tang and business leaders including Bill Gates.
Soane uses a stable of craftsmen who possess skills in such areas as iron forging, saddlery, cabinet-making and bronze casting. They carry no stock other than showroom models for Soane employs a cottage industry of blacksmiths, silversmiths, upholsterers and saddle makers all over England who make the pieces to order.
Soane’s products are distinctive in design and can be further customized to create a totally unique product. I would be delighted to have any of these in my home.
All images courtesy of Soane
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