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stools for Nostell Priory in 1767 and Harewood House in 1772. But it was another thirty nine years, in 1811, before the Metamorphic Library Chair appeared and it is this chair, in the neo-classical form, that defines the Regency period interpretation.


Regardless of its design faults, the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair was hugely popular. In addition to the chairs made in London by Morgan & Sanders, Gillows and others, provincial makers soon started to copy the design. Many private libraries acquired these chairs and good Regency period examples can be found in several stately homes, private clubs, universities and Royal residences. Based on the volume of chairs passing through the trade and the number known to exist in public and private collections in the United Kingdom and North America it is estimated that there are more than four hundred Regency period Metamorphic Library Chairs in circulation32.


Summary


In many ways, the design of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair became a metaphor for Georgian England during the early years of the nineteenth century. The combination of neo-classical elegance and mechanical ingenuity reflected the partnership of man and machine brought about by the Industrial Revolution. The chair‟s dual purpose, to reach and read, symbolised the acquisition of knowledge that led to economic growth. But most of all, it was the fun and functional elegance of the chair that reflected the showmanship of Cox, Merlin and Weeks and the extravagance of the newly appointed Prince Regent that probably appealed most to the burgeoning middle-classes.


The Regency library was one of the most important rooms in the house and the designers, architects and upholsterers left nothing to chance. In his Dictionary Sheraton (1970, p. 216) advises that, „The library should be furnished in the imitation of the antiques; and such prints as are hung [on] the walls ought to be memorials of learning and portraits of men of science and erudition‟. Sheraton also suggests that, „Libraries [should] be on the east side under the bedrooms; for everyone will allow that to rise with the sun is the best season to commence our studies‟. With so much attention focused on the architecture and decoration of the library, early nineteenth century cabinet-makers jostled for position to attract the attention of prospective


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