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clients. The intense competition between the firms led to a series of innovative ideas and there was a renewed interest in the Library Step designs of Robert Campbell. According to Frances Collard (2000, p. 18), „the desire for novelty, a prominent feature of the Regency, necessitated the constant production of new types of furniture. Collard cites Robert Southey, the nineteenth century English poet, when, in his 1802 „Letters on England‟, he observed, „fashions change so often in these things as well as in everything else, that it is easy to know how long it is since a house has been fitted up, by the shape of the furniture‟. These changing fashions and the growing demand for „novelty‟ items helped Regency cabinet-makers to maintain a continuous flow of business and they were constantly searching for new ideas to entice customers into their establishments. Original designs were jealously guarded and some firms patented their inventions for added protection.


Nevertheless, similarities in the designs and dimensions of the Metamorphic Library Chairs of this period suggest that a „universal‟ pattern was adopted by the chair and cabinet-makers of London. Chapter 4 examines the structure of the furniture trade and discovers how early nineteenth century manufacturers responded to the demand for novelty items. In Chapters 5 and 6, equipped with a good understanding of the design history, demand and competitive environment, the dissertation then focuses on two of these manufacturers to undertake a detailed comparison of the metamorphic library furniture that they produced.


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