A handsome late Victorian mahogany adjustable back armchair with oxblood leather upholstered cushions.
The chair adjusts by means of a removable brass rod that supports the back in three different positions. It has a bar back that is reminiscent of its country design heritage and expertly turned art nouveau style arms supports. It terminates in Regency style sabre legs with brass castors. Both the Regency Revival, the Arts & Crafts and the Art Nouveau were all prominent design styles of the period and this chair incorporates flavours of all.
Philip Webb, a designer for Morris & Co was responsible for the original style. Commonly called the Morris chair, it supposedly came in to being after Warrington Taylor, business manager for Morris & Co visited the workshop of Ephraim Coleman where he sketched the style and asked Webb to interpret it. The original design had obviously existed in some form for decades but it was Webb’s updated version that drew popular support in 1869 when it was first produced. Following its success, the chair was much copied by all of the other famous furniture retailers of the period, notably Liberty and Shoolbred.
This piece has no remaining sign of a makers mark or label but it would have certainly come from one of the leading retailers of the period.