New arrival - Astro-style table - Nathan Furniture

We've been so busy following our fellow blogger Mark and his Edwardian House Renovation, where they do things rather properly and in a well planned manner, that we've totally forgotten to post anything ourselves.

Not that much happened, but we had a few new arrivals. The OH spotted a pretty little coffee table* at a local second hand shop:

And our new neighbour across the road gifted us two little vintage glass lampshades: 

I've installed them in the larder area and loo behind the kitchen. They look like they've always been there.

* So, another piece of mid-twentieth century furniture enters the house and another mystery presents itself to us. The blue sticker under the coffee table clearly states it is a piece of Nathan Furniture and there are plenty of photos online corroborating that. Once again though, little is on the web about this former East End manufacturer or this particular design.
We know the company was founded in 1916 by Russian immigrant Barnett Nathan, who – like the Lebus and Liss firms after him – ended up contributing their factories to a war effort. The successor to the original business has been selling its wares in the US for a few years now and makes mention of this in their brochure for the American market. However, beyond what is in that document and a brief history of how Nathan is now made in Yorkshire, the new company could not tell me any more when I rang them up.

There are snippets of info elsewhere. In 1930, B & I Nathan outgrew its early premises in Hackney Road, Hackney, and moved to the Eley Industrial Estate, Angel Road, Edmonton, an area where firms such as Beautility and Homeworthy also set up. There were 300 workers at the Nathan site in 1941, down to 250 employees by 1973. It was taken over in 1981 by ParkerKnoll, before ending up in Yorkshire, where – interestingly - it now produces a 1960s/1970s retro range, as well as contemporary items.
As for the little coffee table that sparked this research, it often gets called an ‘Astro’ online, but this is apparently misleading. Steven Braggs says on his Retrowow site that only one design made by G-Plan goes by that name, although the Nathan table would almost certainly have been inspired by it and other similar ones because Nathan was more a follower than a leader in style. Retrowow also has clues to the age of the table, i.e. probably late 1960s/early 1970s, as this was just before Nathan moved towards a more traditional look.

Unlike with the Liss clan, I have not been able to track down members of the Nathan family (some educated Googling indicates designer Jerrold Nathan is no longer with us), so I am moved once again to start emailing the same bunch of experts that I did last time around and plead for help from the World Wide Web. Help! (Ed.)

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