Westacre Furniture - Part 2
by Barbara King
My second look at Westacre furniture studies the bookcases and secretaires.
These furniture items are made mainly from card, with any decorative trim being made from paper mache or beads. The windows in the doors of the secretaires were made of a hard plastic, which was often decorated to look like leaded lights.
The furniture came in five colours. The earliest was the plain brown, the most common was the black, and there were also rarer items finished in red, green and cream.
Apart from the brown items, the furniture was beautifully decorated with gold embellishments, some of the larger pieces having elaborate oriental scenes painted on them. The door and drawer handles were made from tiny glass beads, the drawers were (as far as I know) all dummies.
The bookcases were equipped with a full selection of gorgeous hand made books, and the secretaires also had books in the top section.
There were also rounded pigeon holes behind the drop down writing slope carefully cut out in thin card. (The treen tea set in the brown furniture is not original.)
The little book troughs were also highly decorated, they came in various sizes and colours.
(Four of the books in the square ended book trough are not Westacre and not original to the item.)
The little books themselves are delightful, they are all leather bound in two colours and are often painted with gold decoration. They open and are complete with tiny opening pages.
Westacre furniture has endured very well over the years despite its fragile construction and is now so highly sought after that reproduction items are being made. This is something that new collectors particularly need to consider when buying, become as familiar as you can with the real thing through collections, photos and descriptions, and look at all sides of the item you're buying (ask for more photos if buying online). Legitimate reproductions will be labelled or signed, look out for areas that suggest a label or brand has been removed or painted over. Also, make sure you like the item for itself, and that you're happy with what you are paying for.