Beithcraft 1960s teak sideboards by Val Rossi
Beithcraft were more formally known as West Of Scotland Furniture Manufacturing Company ! In the 1950s and into the early 1960s their furniture was very traditional and differed very little from pieces made by many British makers of the time . If you do a search you’ll find a lot of Queen Anne style walnut of standard type that could have been made anywhere in Great Britain .
In the early 1960s they used the talented Frank Guille to give them a contemporary modern style . He was best known for his work for Kandya , but he also designed some very lovely pieces for the large firm of Austinsuite . We have a mid-1950s Austinsuite catalogue and they also had previously made large quantities of standard traditional bedroom furniture . Frank Guille was born in 1926 and had trained under Robin Day , and then R.D Russell before going to Denmark to study under Kaare Klint , so he brought a great mix of modern British and Danish influence wherever he worked . His earliest designs for Beithcraft that we’ve found were shown in 1963 .
Val Rossi was employed by the larger Scottish company McIntosh of Kirkcaldy under the great Tom Robertson in the early 1960s . We can’t find out which of the McIntosh designs from around 1962 or 1963 were by him although we have recently bought some lovely stylish chairs which we believe could be his work as they’re totally unlike anything designed by Tom Robertson . We’ve recently spent time going through copies of The Cabinet Maker from the 1960s and Val Rossi first is mentioned in 1964 as designing pieces for Beithcraft and Frank Guille is no longer mentioned after 1963 . Guille was still working for Kandya and probably also for Austinsuite so he was more of a design consultant , and Beithcraft must have been looking for a full time designer .
Val Rossi’s most spectacular and very sought after designs are the organic models on amazing floating bases that were developed from around 1967 . They’re totally unlike anything else that was being produced at the time although cheap poor quality versions were made by Beautility later , but they’re not a patch on the Beitcraft ones .
We can’t find any information about Val Rossi except to say that in 1967 he was described as being a young designer , so we assume he was born in the early to mid 1940s . Beithcraft were eventually taken over by McIntosh in the mid 1970s and Rossi was still working for them at the time . However by then tastes were changing and styles were getting increasingly traditional . We don’t know what happened to him after this , and as he must have still been under 40 at the time he must have moved on to something else , and indeed could easily still be alive today ! If anybody can tell us anything more about his life and career we’d love to know . He was undoubtedly a very talented designer and like others he deserves to be better known .