Chair #78, Arts and Crafts Chairs, c.1885–1930, The Vernacular Tradition

Ernest Gimson

Rocking chair, c.1900–10

Ebonised ash and woven string seat

This chair was designed by Ernest Gimson and made at the Daneway Workshops, Sapperton, after a traditional Lancashire design. It was used by Gimson’s wife, Emily, at their cottage at Sapperton, Gloucestershire.


Adam Bowett Catalogue 14/08/2012


A rocking chair, 19th century. The frame is ball-turned all over, except for the lower portion of the back posts and the arms. The high back has finialled posts and three dished cross rails framing twelve-ball turned spindles in four sets of three, and with ball-turned ‘wings’ extended from either side. The flat, out-curved arms enclose a strung seat raised on turned front posts linked by paired stretchers all round, on curved rockers.


H: 46 ” (117cm) Seat height: 16 ½ ” (42cm) W: 22 ½ ” (57cm) D: 29 ½ “ (75cm)


Ernest Gimson


Ash, string

Dating Criteria

Numerous chairs of this model survive, most attributed to the second half of the 19th century.


The four posts of the chair are the principal components into which all other parts of the chair are fixed. The cross rails in the back are tenoned into the posts, the top one being secured with double pegs; all other elements are dowelled, including where the front posts rise up through the arm and are secured with a single peg.


Condition is excellent, no breaks or repairs, the ebonised surface is worn in exposed places and survives better elsewhere.

Additional Remarks

This type of chair was also made in Lancashire and the Lake District in the 19th century. Known makers include Thomas Brocklebank and his sons George and William, who worked in Eskdale c.1851 to c.1900, and John Robinson of Preston (1816-48: see Cotton (2001), fig 1 & Boram (2012), fig. 24).

This particular chair was sold from the estate of Ernest Gimson’s widow in 1941.


Susan Stuart & David Jones, ‘Eskdale Chairs’, Regional Furniture, IX (1995), pp. 14-33.

Susan Stuart, ‘Wonderful Walker’: Portrait of an Eighteenth Century

Cumbrian Furniture Maker’, Regional Furniture, X (1996), pp. 52-65.

B.D. Cotton, ‘Another piece in the jigsaw – John Robinson, Preston’, Regional Furniture Society Newsletter, No. 34 (Spring 2001), p.18.

John Boram, ‘A Regional Perspective on the Innovative Development of Light Chairs’, Regional Furniture, XXVI (2012),


Blairman & Sons, April 2000.

Hobbs & Chambers, Sale of the Estate of Mrs. Ernest Gimson, 20 March 1941, lot 154.

Mrs. Ernest Gimson.