For many years, vanity tables - or dressing tables, as they are also commonly known - were a symbol of wealth, luxury and glamour. Originally called the 'toilet table', the vanity table first appeared during the late 17th century in Europe; these early pieces were bulky and unrefined, contrasting the elegant, ornate versions which would follow. As the initial name indicates, these tables were intended for the bathroom and would later move into the bedroom. With this furniture set becoming accessible to the middle classes during the Victorian period, the materials and styles evolved to suit a broader audience. Antique dressing tables can be found in materials such as oak, walnut and mahogany, whilst modern sets can be made from mirrored glass, metal and plastic. The vanity table is typically accompanied by a chair or stool and a tabletop mirror; other features include draws for storing jewellery, makeup and other items.
Luke Honey has over twenty years experience working for major auction houses and art consultancies in London, New York and the United States. Today Barnebys talks with Luke to see where it all started, and what he has his eye on in the world of 'mantiques.'
This week we are visiting Linda and Adam Friberg, the successful couple behind Cheap Monday, Weekday and Monki. They are living in a beautiful and dreamy villa thirty minutes outside of Florence - filled with Scandinavian design.