This lot is offered without reserve.
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Heal's have been at the forefront of stylish, contemporary design ever since it opened its first store nearly 200 years ago. The department store dates back to 1810, when the firm was founded as a business for the supply of bedding in 1810 by John Harris Heal in Rathbone Place, London. In 1818 they moved to Tottenham Court Road, which has been their home ever since. Following the death of the founder in 1834, Fanny Heal (his widow) and John Harris Heal the younger formed a successful partnership and expanded their premises considerably in 1840, and gradually expanded the range of goods on offer.
In 1875, John Harris Heal the younger was succeeded in the partnership by his sons, Harris and Ambrose Heal, and his son-in-law, Alfred Brewer. In 1898, the arrival of Ambrose Heal Junior in the firm marked enormous change for the company. By 1913 he had taken control of the firm and introduced to general taste the simple clean line. Heal & Sons grew from strength to strength after a very successful show at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, taking on exceptional designers and achieving widespread commercial success. Between 1907 and 1922 business trebled under Ambrose Heal's artistic and business direction, despite the war of 1914-1918. Following the Great War, the depression of the 1920s and 1930s set in and posed a severe challenge for many businesses: Heal's focus on simple, modern design came into its own as this could be easily produced and sold at reasonable prices.
The legacy of Ambrose Heal pervades the company to this day. Heal's catalogues, 1898-1950, are evidence of his influence. This suite is altogether exceptional, being of exhibition quality not since surpassed. It shows the best of the firm could do emulating the production of the great French ébéniste Ruhlmann, who in the 1920s used ivory chequer borders and ebony both veneered and solid.