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decoration can be sufficient to break the harmony of the chair. The voluted arms of the Trafalgar Chair were clearly a challenge for the maker of chair C003 who decided to compensate by adding a crudely carved spiral motif on the top-rail. Chair C015 is a slightly better example complete with voluted arms and an out-scrolled top-rail but it is clear from the oversized hinges and the „hook-and-eye‟ locking mechanism that this is also a provincial piece. The sample chairs selected for the field research are all good quality chairs. Based on the timber, construction and proportions of the chairs it is clear that all were made by notable firms such as Gillows or Morgan & Sanders and it would be difficult to separate the examples based on quality. Although the Mallett chair stands out as a particularly fine example, all of the chairs were made from fine cuts of Honduran or Spanish mahogany, they were skilfully and carefully manufactured and the proportions of each chair would certainly pass the Sheraton test and qualify as „agreeable and easy‟.


7.1.5 Fittings


There are wide variations in the fittings used for each chair but two of the chairs show remarkable similarities in this area. Close examination of the Trinity College chair and that residing in the library at Tatton Park reveal that they have identical lever-operated latch style locking mechanisms. Although Gillows and Morgan & Sanders were both retailing in London during the Regency, most of Gillows‟ furniture was manufactured in Lancaster (Stuart, 2008, p. 63, vol. I). It is therefore unlikely that the lever-operated latch would have been purchased from the same supplier. Furthermore, according to the Gillows Sketch Book entry in July 1815, the locking mechanism was described as a „spring catch‟ discounting the possibility that an earlier version of the Gillows Metamorphic Library Chair design would have used the latch design. The evidence is so compelling that it must throw doubt onto the original assumption that the Tatton Park chair was made by Gillows. Despite the quality of the timber, the use of a crotch-cut veneer on the top-rail and the Egerton family‟s patronage of Gillows, it is possible that the Tatton Park chair was supplied by Morgan & Sanders. When this evidence is combined with other similarities between the chairs, including the overall dimensions, the reeded decoration and the concave- sided pedestal designs, the possibility of both chairs originating from the same


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