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A combination of these design elements increases the accuracy of attribution. For example, if a Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair is made of Spanish mahogany, there is no applied decoration and the two halves of the chair are locked together by a spring-loaded catch then the chair is more likely to have been made by Gillows than Morgan & Sanders. If there are conflicting design attributes then this should throw doubt on the authenticity of the chair. Most Regency period Metamorphic Library Chairs follow the traditional Trafalgar Chair design with open- arms, sabre-shaped legs, a curved-over knee and concave top-rail. If a chair is made of a good quality evenly grained Honduran mahogany then the attribution process could still suggest either Gillows or Morgan & Sanders. Heavy reeding to the front elevation would favour Morgan & Sanders, but the chair could still have a spring catch. As a patent furniture manufacturer Morgan & Sanders would have had access to many new brass locks and fittings and it is highly likely that they would have changed the design of the locking mechanism during the seven or eight years of production. A spring catch was used on the Thomas Weeks example discussed in Chapter 3 and there is also a button-operated catch on the chair in the Schneidman Collection. Perhaps it was the earlier versions of the Morgan & Sanders design that used the lever-operated latch. The mechanism was probably based on the lock of an eighteenth century sash window70. Despite the possibility of catch variations in the Morgan & Sanders design the process is still relevant since heavily decorated chairs are unlikely to have originated from Gillows.


7.4 Improved Referencing and Cataloguing


The dissertation has also uncovered several problems associated with the cataloguing of Metamorphic Library Chairs. While it would be impossible to standardise the terms, it would be helpful for chair descriptions to contain a minimum level of information. The following details should be included:


Provenance – Maker‟s marks, documentation, or known historical details that may help to trace the origins of the chair. Dimensions – Height, width and depth in the open and closed positions. Design – Photographs of the chair in the open and closed positions. Decoration – The location and extent of any applied decoration.


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