Chair #89, Arts & Crafts Chairs, c.1885-1905, Towards Modernism

A.H. Mackmurdo

Chair, c.1885

East Indian satinwood, now with 19th-century woven wool and cotton

This chair was designed by A.H. Mackmurdo and the Century Guild for Henry Boddington (1849–1925) of Pownall Hall, Wilmslow, Cheshire, and was made by E. Goodall & Co. The seat rail is stamped twice ‘E. GOODHALL & CO., MANCHESTER’ and is inscribed in pencil ‘Boddington’. The upholstery fabric design is attributed to Mackmurdo.

Adam Bowett Catalogue 14/08/2012


An upholstered chair, c. 1885. The tall, ergonomically-curved back and seat are covered in woven wool and cotton, mounted on the satinwood frame which has slender, square-section backposts topped with splayed caps, exposed seat side rails and square section tapered forelegs with brass socket castors all round.


H: 45 ” (114cm) Seat height: 14 ½ ” (37cm) W: 19 ” ( 48cm) D: 21 ” (53.5cm)


A. H. Mackmurdo


East Indian satinwood, ash, unidentified hard wood, brass castors, upholstery; woven wool and cotton


The back is framed by the two posts extending from the ground to the top in one piece, with the caps added, presumably dowelled or tenoned on to the tops of the posts. The posts are linked by two horizontal cross rails, one at the top and one at the base of the back, which are either dowelled or tenoned into the back posts. A pair of vertical ribs, parallel to the back posts, is jointed top and bottom to the horizontal rails and these form the frame for the upholstery. There appear to be triangular brackets concealed by the upholstery which support these joints. The back seat rail is either tenoned or dowelled into the back posts, the side rails are tenoned or dowelled into the back posts and into the front legs; the front seat rail is either tenoned or dowelled into the front legs. The upholstery is supported underneath by concealed rails, one glued inside the back rail and one each screwed to the inside face of the side rails. The caps to the front legs are integral with the leg. Socket castors are fixed with screws.

Marks or stamps

Underside of front rail stamped twice ‘E GOODALL & CO MANCHESTER’. The inside the back supporting rail is inscribed in pencil ‘ Boddington’


The chair is basically sound, although it is clear it has been repaired /restored particularly around some joints. Both caps to the back posts are chipped; small split to back of left side top rail. Small splits left and right lower back rail. Repair to front right joint of leg with side rail, slight bruising and marking to tops of seat rails and of front legs. Some losses to gaiter moulding above front castors. Distressing to all surfaces consistent with light use and entire surface probably refinished. Upholstery fitted 2013 using period fabric of woven wool and cotton; design attributed to Mackmurdo.


Stuart Evans, ‘Putting Together the Pieces’, The Decorative Arts Society Journal, Journal 31, 2007

The Art Journal, 1891, two articles pp. 353-357 & pp. 329-335

Undergraduate dissertation by Sue Dawson held by FTF Dept on Pownall Hall