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years Morgan & Sanders‟ clientele included several branches of the Royal family. Ever the publicists, in 1809, they renamed their Catherine Street manufactory „Trafalgar-House‟ as a tribute to the late Lord Nelson49. Catherine Street was alight with innovative ideas and The Repository was never slow to recognise Morgan & Sanders‟ contribution. As Ackermann (1809, pp. 122-123) comments, „their example has stimulated others in the same line: and this competition has contributed to the superiority for beauty of design, and exquisite workmanship‟. Two years later, following the continued growth and success of Morgan & Sanders, their version of a Metamorphic Library Chair was to appear in the same publication. But in 1814 Butler retired, and five years later, following the death of Joseph Sanders, Thomas Morgan sold out and Morgan & Sanders50 ceased to trade. The firm had been in business for less than eighteen years. Ackermann may have inadvertently encouraged today‟s antique trade to credit Morgan & Sanders with the design of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair, but do they deserve the honour? In this chapter, we examine the evidence and attempt to identify the origins of the chair design. What did Ackermann really say, could his opinion have been influenced by the advertising revenue and what do we really know about the Metamorphic Library Chair output from Morgan & Sanders during the last seven years of their trading partnership?


5.1 Morgan & Sanders Design Evidence


Morgan & Sanders claimed to have invented several metamorphic furniture designs including the Imperial Dining Table (Anon, 1801) but they registered no patents and it is more likely that they adopted the designs of others. According to G. Bernard Hughes (1967, pp. 452-453), Morgan & Sanders acquired sole manufacturing rights for John Elswick‟s patent for constructing collapsible chairs and sofas in 1807. In the same year they also secured a license to produce the Globe Writing Table patented by George Remington. The table was marketed by Morgan & Sanders as the „Pitt‟s Cabinet Globe Writing-Table‟ in memory of William Pitt the Younger. The Globe Table used an ingenious system of springs and pulleys to open up segments of the globe to reveal the writing surface with a backdrop of small drawers and pigeon holes. According to an article in Ackermann‟s Repository (1810), „Her Royal Highness the Princess Augusta‟ ordered one in 1810. Viscount Linley (1996, p.135) suggests that the idea for the globe desks probably originated in Vienna.


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