Chair #71, Arts and Crafts Chairs, c.1885–1930, The Vernacular Tradition

W.R. Lethaby

Armchair, c.1892


This chair was designed by W.R. Lethaby and probably made by G.B. Bellamy for Kenton & Co. The chair is thought to have been owned by Ernest Gimson at his cottage in Sapperton, Gloucester- shire. It was formerly in the collection of architect Robert Weir Schultz (1860–1951).


Adam Bowett Catalogue 14/08/2012


A large armchair, c. 1892. The tall, barrel-shaped back has finialled posts and broad, flat, out-turned arms, over a boarded seat with panelled sides and a deep, shaped seat rail to the front, on stile feet.


H: 54” (137cm) Seat height: 18” (46cm) W: 31 ¼ ” (79cm) D: 24 “ (61cm).


W.H. Lethaby (1857-1931)




The rear posts are a made of one piece of oak; the crest rail is housed into them and secured with a plugged screw. The back is composed of three vertical boards extending from the top rail well below the seat; the joints between them are butted and mitred, and at each side they are housed in a rebate in the back posts. The arms are tenoned (?) into the posts and rest on paired, cross-wedged stub tenons rising from the front posts. The seat is composed of two boards running side to side, butt-jointed and housed in a rebate all round. It is further supported by a screwed block to each side underneath. The panelled sides are framed with mortise-and-tenon joints. The front rail below the seat is dovetailed into the front legs with two massive dovetails and also screwed up to the front edge of the seat. There is a square rear stretcher tenoned between the back feet.


The chair is sound, no repairs or damage, there is some movement in the joints; e.g., where the front board is dovetailed to the legs. The surfaces appear to be naturally patinated; the chair conceivably had an oiled finfish which has darkened naturally over time.


Purchased Blairman and Sons July 2006.

Robert Weir Schultz and thence by descent.

Ernest Gimson