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the Metamorphic Library Chair designs to the firms that made them. A painting by Charles Wild showing the interior of the Queen‟s library at Frogmore House in 1817 shows a more elaborate, scrolled-back version of the chair but research has failed to positively identify the maker84. Despite compelling evidence that other London based and provincial firms made the Metamorphic Library Chair it has not been possible to establish the identities of any other maker. Therefore, while it is extremely likely that other variations of the chair were being manufactured during the Regency, the Morgan & Sanders and Gillows materials are the only reliable contemporary design references available.


Despite a thorough examination of the available reference materials, numerous conversations with Georgian furniture experts and the physical inspection of several Regency period Metamorphic Library Chairs, it has not been possible to identify any categorical differences between the designs of Morgan & Sanders and those of Gillows. It is clear from the research that both firms adopted the Trafalgar Chair design, that the design could be modified to meet customer requirements and that they both delivered a quality product. While variations in the quality of timber, the applied decoration and the catch design could have been unique to a particular firm, it is also possible that these differences reflected the individual needs of the customer, the availability of fittings or the preferences of the journeyman chair- maker. Nevertheless, the dissertation represents the first full review of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair and the outcome offers attribution advice that should be of value to collectors and the antiques trade.


By the 1820s Morgan & Sanders had ceased trading, the Trafalgar Chair had disappeared from the pages of The Repository and Augustus Pugin was designing Gothic style furniture for Windsor Castle. But the fascination for metamorphic furniture survived. J. Stokes (1838) wrote, „In a business where change and caprice rule with unbound sway, in which the fashions of today may become obsolete tomorrow, an inventive genius and discriminating judgment are certainly essential qualifications.‟ Whether Charles Hess, the inventor of the piano-bedstead in 1866 was blessed with genius or judgment is for the reader to decide, but the sofa-bed has been popular for over two hundred and fifty years and few Regency period Metamorphic Library Chairs remain unsold at auction.


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