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Makers and journeyman marks are invaluable to the task of attribution and should be included in any new attribution methodology. Most of the pieces examined are in good condition but two chairs require attention. The rear stretchers on the chairs at Tatton Park and Trinity College both need immediate repair. At Tatton Park there is evidence that the same section of the chair was repaired and strengthened during the latter half of the nineteenth century but the new damage threatens the integrity of the chair and the problem must be resolved quickly. The damage on the chair at Trinity College appears to be recent and urgent attention should prevent a more serious problem. In addition to the split frame on the Trinity College chair, it has also lost much of its patina due to sun exposure and, once again, the problem should be attended to immediately. During the restoration of the Trinity College chair a thorough examination of each surface should be undertaken to identify the previous location of the Morgan & Sanders nameplate. Two visits to Trinity College Oxford as part of the field research for the dissertation have failed to discover any trace of the nameplate or evidence that a plate has been previously attached to the chair.


7.2 The Failure of Current Attribution Methods


In today‟s market antique buyers expect a comprehensive and factual description of the items on offer. A well crafted novelty chair in the Regency style may be appealing but without the historical context and information on the firm that made it, the chair is worth a fraction of its true value. For many years, collectors, antique dealers and auction houses have struggled to find information on the Metamorphic Library Chair. An internet search carried out in April, 2009 indicated that there were twenty seven Regency period Metamorphic Library Chairs for sale – most claiming to be derived from a Morgan & Sanders‟ original design. Thanks to the publicity provided by Rudolph Ackermann in 1811, today‟s vendors are presented with a tantalising link to the past and here are some of the misinformed results:


Morgan & Sanders held the patent for this particular model. A fine example of the metamorphic chair invented by Morgan & Sanders. Attributed to Gillows of Lancaster, after the designs of Morgan & Sanders. This chair design was patented by Messrs Morgan & Sanders. A Regency mahogany Metamorphic Library Chair attributed to Gillows.


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