Merrow Associates was really expensive back in the day !

Merrow Associates was really expensive back in the day !

Today we are so used to seeing new imported cheap light weight glass and metal furniture in the shops it’s easy to forget how expensive top quality pieces like those by Merrow Associates and William Plunkett were back in the 1960s and 1970s .

Merrow Associates was founded in 1966 by furniture designer Richard Young and 2 engineers called Wyatt and Peter Weeks . Richard Young was born in 1930 ( TBC ) and studied at the RCA in London graduating top of his year . He then got a scholarship to study at the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen under the renowned Ole Wanscher . In the early 1960s he was working as a staff designer for G Plan and came up with some lovely designs , not all of which were as successful as they should have been . He designed a lovely table and chairs in the Hans Wegner style for G Plan which are extremely rare which is a shame as they’re really smart and are sought after today .

Richard Young designed many of Merrow Associates successful designs in the late 1960s , but they also used other designers such as Ron Carter . He also designed pieces on a freelance basis for other companies , an area we’re hoping to research in the near future . He was also involved in plans to revive the ailing G Plan in the mid 1980s before the firm went into liquidation and we understand that he died in the late 1980s . His son James is currently working on re-issuing certain of his father’s designs and has recently launched a website .

Merrow Associates furniture like those of William Plunkett were batch produced in small amounts as and when demand dictated at the time . The firm was successful in the late 1960s and into the 1970s but like so many top quality makers would have been hit by the oil crisis in 1974 . One Norwegian company successfully replaced chromed steel chair bases with plywood bases on some of their designs , but luxury makers like Merrow couldn’t adapt in this way .

Original Merrow Associates catalogues are extremely rare , but we do have a Heals of London brochure from 1971 with a price-list which shows a small circular Merrow table with glass top priced at £185 . This is over £2800 adjusted to inflation since then . As a comparison a slightly larger Paul Cadovius rosewood circular table on a chrome base was only £127 .

We’re offering a larger Merrow chromed steel metal base with a slightly later heavy glass base at only £675 . A new glass top can be cut , toughened and delivered for around £250 .