The Furniture Makers’ Company is pleased to announce the launch of a new online catalogue of the Frederick Parker chair collection. This unique collection of 191 British chairs dating from the 1670s to 2015 has now been researched, assessed and digitally photographed, to complete the first comprehensive catalogue of the collection. The chairs are fully described in a clear and accessible format suitable for students, historians and anyone interested in furniture history.
The collection was formed mainly in the early 20th century by furniture makers Frederick Parker & Sons, to provide a resource of antique styles suitable for reproduction. As the demand for reproduction furniture declined in the mid-century, the collection became redundant and in 1997 it was saved from disposal by the formation of a trust, the Frederick Parker Foundation, which was able to raise the funds to purchase a significant number of the chairs. The collection is now owned by the Furniture Makers and is on long-term loan to London Metropolitan University, with many of the chairs on display and the rest in controlled storage, accessible for study. Further chairs, especially of the late 20th century, have been added to show a coherent progression of English chairmaking from the 17th century to the present day.
The chair collection is complemented by the Frederick Parker and Parker Knoll Archive, also owned by the Furniture Makers and on loan to the university, providing a fascinating record of 150 years of furniture production.
We encourage visitors, especially students in design, making and upholstery, to make use of this unique learning resource. The online chair catalogue now enables people to study the collection remotely and we hope it will inspire further research and new directions in design and manufacture.
The chair collection can be accessed here.
For the archive, click here.
For information about the Frederick Parker collection and archive, and to arrange a visit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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