Drayton Chair

March 23, 2015 by CTF Editor

by Jenny Saunt   The chair above is part of a suite originally made for Drayton House in Northamptonshire. Six chairs, a settee and a bed of the same set are still at Drayton, all of which were made between 1700 and 1702. The early life of this suite of furniture can be followed through […]

A Marot Chair?

March 20, 2015 by CTF Editor

by Jenny Saunt   Though previously bought and sold several times as seventeenth-century pieces, this pair of CTF chairs (only one shown here) have recently revealed their true identity as creations of the nineteenth-century. Several significant pieces of evidence have led to this re-dating. First, the construction technique – with screwed-in corner brackets – suggests […]

Lyttleton Chairs

March 20, 2015 by CTF Editor

by Jenny Saunt   This is one of a pair of CTF chairs that were originally from a larger set of at least 12 chairs. The two in the CTF collection are marked with the numbers II and IV, and with the exception of numbers III and IX, all the others of the set are […]

Carry Chair

March 20, 2015 by CTF Editor

by Jenny Saunt   Similar in form to several chairs in the Crab Tree Farm Collection (see 2, 3, and 6), this chair sets itself apart by the iron loops which are fixed to its sides. The loops were an early addition to the chair, added to make it transportable by inserting bars so that […]

The Arms of Arundell

March 20, 2015 by CTF Editor

By Jenny Saunt   The back panel of this chair (sometimes referred to as a ‘Glastonbury chair’), bears the arms of the Arundell’s of Cornwall, the builders of Trerice, whose Cornish lineage can be traced back to the thirteenth century.   However, as furniture historian Victor Chinnery wrote, dating of furniture and ‘precise histories of […]

Christopher Dresser Chronology

March 18, 2015 by CTF Editor

  1834 Dresser is born July 4 in Glasgow. 1847 He enters the Government School of Design, London, where he said he was “an earnest student of Oriental art.” 1853 His first fabric design—Ladies’ Smock for Liddiard & Co.—is manufactured and registered. 1854 He marries Thirza Perry, with whom he will eventually have thirteen children. […]

Introduction to Christopher Dresser Copper, Brass, and Painted Metalware, c.1880-1885

March 17, 2015 by CTF Editor

  Christopher Dresser was a designer for Benham & Froud Ltd, a London based maker of copper and brass metalwares. He designed for the firm from about 1872 to 1893.   Dresser’s name was not used on Benham & Froud pieces.   Five of the seven copper and brass objects illustrated in this section bear […]

Introduction to Christopher Dresser Electroplated Nickel Silver and Silver Metalware, c.1878-1885

March 17, 2015 by CTF Editor

  Hukin & Heath, Birmingham and London. There are four pieces with the marks of Hukin & Heath illustrated in this section, three of which are electroplated nickel silver and one of which is silver. The three electroplated pieces are marked “Designed by Dr. C. Dresser.”   Christopher Dresser was employed in 1879 by James […]

Introduction to Christopher Dresser Glass, C.1885-1895

March 17, 2015 by CTF Editor

Dresser’s glass designs were marketed with the name “Clutha,” a trademark registered by James Couper & Sons, Glasgow. One piece (no. 19) illustrated in this section bears the mark “Clutha, JC&S, Registered” and was probably retailed through Liberty & Co. Another piece (no. 16) is faintly etched “Clutha Reg., Trademark.” Eight of the pieces are […]

Introduction to Christopher Dresser Ceramics c.1880-1893

March 16, 2015 by CTF Editor

  Christopher Dresser was a cofounder (1879) and the art director (1879–82) of the Linthorpe Art Pottery in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire. There are ten Linthorpe pieces included in this section, all of which bear the Linthorpe mark. Nine of these are also marked with Dresser’s facsimile signature. The manager of Linthorpe from 1879 to 1882 […]

18 ‘Carved Wallnuttree Chairs’

March 9, 2015 by CTF Editor

By Jenny Saunt     This chair is one of a pair, from an original set of 18, Made in 1735 by William Hallett for the 6th Viscount Lord Irwin, whose portrait is below.   The chairs were originally made for Irwin’s London residence, but they were moved to his ancestral home, Temple Newsam, just […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Banister-Back Chairs c.1720-1750

March 6, 2015 by CTF Editor

  ‘Banister-back’ was a name given by British chair-makers to chairs with a solid central splat, usually shaped to the profile of a classical baluster or banister. This innocuous-sounding name belies the revolutionary nature of the design, which transformed British and European chair-making from about 1715 onwards. The name ‘banister-back’ derived from a traditional type […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to John Makepeace Chairs c.1990

March 5, 2015 by CTF Editor

  John Makepeace (b.1939) is often hailed as the father of modern British furniture design, and he is credited with almost single-handedly reviving the art and craft of fine furnituremaking in late twentieth-century Britain. Makepeace first became interested in furniture when he was a boy, and as a teenager he decided to train as a […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Arts & Crafts Chairs, c.1885-1905, Towards Modernism

March 5, 2015 by CTF Editor

  Mackay Hugh (M.H.) Baillie Scott (1865–1945) was one of the first British designers to move away from the more vernacular tradition of the Arts and Crafts movement towards the more modernist tradition embraced by the term ‘Art Nouveau’ or ‘Jugendtstil’. In 1897 he was commissioned, together with Charles Robert Ashbee (1863–1942), to provide decoration […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Arts & Crafts Chairs, c.1895-1905, CFA Voysey

March 5, 2015 by CTF Editor

By Adam Bowett   Charles Francis Annesley (C.F.A.) Voysey (1857–1941) trained as an architect in the office of J.P. Seddon (1827–1906) before setting up an independent practice in 1882. His work reveals a mixture of influences, but he acknowledged that his biggest debt was to A.W.N. Pugin (1812-1852). Voysey echoed J.D. Sedding (1838–1891) in being […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Arts and Crafts Chairs, c.1885-1930, The Vernacular Tradition

March 5, 2015 by CTF Editor

By Adam Bowett   William Richard (W.R.) Lethaby (1857–1931) was a founding member of the Art Workers’ Guild in 1884, and in 1887 he and others founded the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society as a showcase for contemporary designers and makers. Lethaby’s work often had a strong vernacular flavour (71), like that of his friend […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Aesthetic Movement Chairs, c.1870-1875

March 3, 2015 by CTF Editor

  The high Victorian Aesthetic movement was a broadly based approach to art, literature and domestic design, and it championed the primacy of aesthetic values over and above any others. The movement rejected the Ruskinian notion that good art and design should tend towards moral improvement, and instead it espoused the idea of ‘art for […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Morris & Co. Chairs, c.1860-1890

March 3, 2015 by CTF Editor

  The firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. was founded in April 1861 and soon became more generally known as Morris & Co. (1875–1940). As well as William Morris (1834–1896) himself, its founding members included the architect Philip Speakman Webb (1831–1915) and the Pre-Raphaelite artists Ford Madox Brown (1821–1893), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) and […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Gothic Revival Chairs, c.1840-1880

March 3, 2015 by CTF Editor

  The Gothic Revival was the most powerful British artistic, architectural, and cultural movement of the Victorian age. In the early part of the period its chief protagonist was Augustus Welby Northmore (A.W.N.) Pugin (1812–1852). For Pugin the Gothic or Christian style embodied an era that was artistically and morally superior to the ‘pagan’ classicism […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Historicist Chairs c.1820-1900

March 2, 2015 by CTF Editor

  One of the most evident elements of nineteenth-century furniture design was a conscious evocation of the past. In the eighteenth century, antiquarianism was an intellectual novelty espoused by romantics and eccentrics such as Horace Walpole (1717–1797). His legacy in the next generation included the fabulously wealthy William Beckford (1760–1844) and the Scottish writer Sir […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Windsor Chairs, c.1760-1820

March 2, 2015 by CTF Editor

  A Windsor chair is defined by its construction. The seat, usually a single thick board, forms the primary structural member, into which everything else – legs, arm supports and back–is fixed. It is an ancient method of seat construction, but only in Britain and its North American colonies did it achieve recognition as a […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Upholstered Chairs, c.1715-1745

March 1, 2015 by CTF Editor

  The increasing prosperity of eighteenth-century Britain was reflected in the houses and furnishings of its people. What were once rarities became commonplace, and former luxuries became widely available. Woollen cloth, Britain’s staple manufacture and once the universal choice for clothing, bedding, curtains and upholstery, increasingly gave way to imported cottons, silk and velvets. However, […]

Adam Bowett, Introduction to Giles Grendey Chairs, c.1735-1745

March 1, 2015 by CTF Editor

  Giles Grendey (1693–1780) was one of London’s best documented furniture-makers. He was born in Gloucestershire and at the age of sixteen was apprenticed to a prominent London joiner and furniture-maker, William Sherborne. He became free of the Joiners’ Company in 1716. By 1726 he had established his own business and had taken his first […]