Chair

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52)

    The manufacture attributed to George Myers (1803-75)

     

  • Detail

    Oak with painted crest

    96.5 x 42 x 46.4 cm

    English (London), circa 1840

  • Provenance

    A.W.N. Pugin; [ … ]; Christie’s (South Kensington), 1980s; Christopher Gibbs.

  • Collection

    Private collection

  • Notes

    Pugin’s design for the present chair, inscribed ‘Chair for Hall / 4 of these in oak’ survives in the collection of the Myers Family Trust.

    Another surviving chair from the set was exhibited in A.W.N. Pugin: Master of the Gothic Revival, exh. cat., New Haven and London, 1995, no.111; this second chair, together with a third, are now, respectively, in the National Museum of Wales and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

    In the catalogue it is suggested that these hall chairs may have been made as early as 1835 by Edward Hull for St Marie’s Grange, Alderbury; they were certainly later at The Grange, Ramsgate.

    The survival of the design with descendants of George Myers, however, makes it at least as likely that ‘Pugin’s builder’ and collaborator on the Mediaeval Court at the London Great Exhibition, 1851, could have been the maker.

    One of these hall chairs, possibly the one exhibited in 1995, was still at The Grange in the mid-1980s; it is illustrated in Jonathan Glancey, ‘Pugin Reunion’, Architectural Review, December 1984, p.61, fig.18.

    The surviving hall chairs are each emblazoned with a martlet, the footless bird incorporated into Pugin’s coat of arms.

    Pugin’s hall chair combines the form of a mediaeval stool, with an upright back, such as one finds on eighteenth century English Hall chairs and, earlier, in the sgabello form. Plate 21 in Pugin’s Gothic Furniture (London, 1835) shows a stool closely related to the base of the present chair.