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the Regency had been replaced by the Gothic forms and heavy ornamentation of the early Victorian era. There are only two known contemporary illustrations of the Metamorphic Library Chair. The first, published by Rudolph Ackermann in July 1811, was based on a chair made by Morgan & Sanders in Catherine Street (Figure 2a). The second was created to visualise and estimate the cost of a chair made by Gillows in November 1834 (Figure 2b). The antiques trade relies heavily on these two sketches to attribute most of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chairs they handle. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in many inaccurate and misleading claims and there is an urgent need for more information on the subject.


Figure 2 – Metamorphic Library Chair Illustrations Sources: British Library (c.119.f.1) and Westminster City Archives (344/102)


By comparing the designs of Morgan & Sanders chairs against those of Gillows, the dissertation sets out to identify a reliable set of criteria that can be used to differentiate the manufactured output of both firms. To ensure that this objective is achieved and that the results are of practical value, the dissertation expresses the outcome in the form of attribution guidelines. Feedback from the antiques trade based on the application of these guidelines would help to increase the accuracy of attribution and improve the quality of the related research.


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