Victorian Aesthetic Movement Duet Piano Stool with Joseph Fitter Screw Mechanism
A rare late Victorian Aesthetic Movement Duet Stool with separate adjustable seats marked Joseph Fitter to the base.
Established in 1846 Fitter was a renowned nineteenth century Birmingham manufacturer and rose to fame during the 1860’s with his patents for table expander screw mechanisms for which he held two patents vested in 1861 and again in 1868. Patent records for 1863 also suggest that he lodged a design for castors in 1863.
Building on his ingenious table mechanism, Fitter was also renowned for providing “music stool screws”. No current evidence is available to suggest that he was manufacturing stools himself and it is much more likely that quality makers would utilise Fitter’s wares within their own designs owing to their superior quality and durability. Fitter’s business was still advertising table expanders and chair screws manufactured from The Britannia Works in Birmingham up until the 1950’s.
This is one such example and is extremely rare owing to its dual screw seating arrangement. In fact the only other example that I can find exists in Queen Victoria’s Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The Osborne House example is potentially earlier and possibly to a design of Henry Whitaker who was largely responsible for the furniture in the 1840’s. Fitter’s company establishment dates would certainly align to the release of Whitaker’s “Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer’s Treasury of Designs” in 1846 and his “screws” may have been incorporated into subsequent designs but sadly, music stools do not feature in the publication.