Saridis of Athens
The house of Saridis was established in 1867. Saridis reproduces authentic furniture from all styles and periods simultaneously, ranging from Louis XV to English designs, although fame came from the remakes of the classical ancient Greek furniture. In 1960, T. H. Robsjohn Gibbings met Greek cabinetmakers Susan and Eleftherios Saridis, who were deeply interested in Greek archaeology and were the owners of one of the finest cabinet-making plants in Europe. With the Saridises, his own research and the help of a few similarly minded scholars, he designed furniture ripped straight from ancient Greek craters, mosaics and frescoes. Together, they created the Klismos line of furniture, which drew heavily on classical forms. The experiment turned out to exceed everyone’s expectations. With true respect of art and quality the skilled craftsmen work till this day from original furniture designs. To find a good walnut they sometimes tour the entire Greece. It is known that the factory throws away more wood than they use. They finish their work with the Saridis stamp of authenticity.
T. H. Robsjohn Gibbings
Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905–1976) was a British-born architect and furniture designer. He studied architecture at London University. In the late 1930s and 1940s he was the most important decorator in America and his shop was located on New York’s Madison Avenue.
The design work of T. H. Robsjohn Gibbings is hallmarked as a modern mixture of the classical elements of Ancient Grecian design, and Art Deco design. Creating more than 200 pieces of furniture for the house between 1934 and 1938, Robsjohn-Gibbings indulged his passion for Greco-Roman design by incorporating sphinxes, dolphins, lions’ paw feet, and Ionic columns in table bases, torchères, and select pieces of furniture, nonetheless keeping the interior design simple and elegant.
One of the designer’s most important residential commissions was Hilda Boldt Weber’s mansion Casa Encantada in Bel-Air. Casa Encantada survived and was sold intact to Conrad Hilton in 1952.
His honors include the 1950 Waters Award and the 1962 Elsie de Wolfe Award. His furniture has been collectible for the past decade .
Although he was a naturalized U.S. citizen, Gibbings eventually moved to Athens, where he resumed his role as interior decorator, scattering his famous Klismos chairs and stools around the homes of shipping magnates like Aristotle Onassis, Nickolas Goulandris and the Niarchos family. Gibbings died at 71, in his apartment overlooking Acropolis.
It is a tribute to Gibbings that the Saridis nineteen piece collection has never gone out of production. Steady demand by celebrity designers has ensured the company’s survival.