This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Although the research has identified several articles covering Regency period metamorphic furniture design, there are no complete reference works on the subject. Previous publications include: magazine features by G. Bernard Hughes for Country Life in January 1958 and March 1967, Brian Austen‟s contribution to The Connoisseur in 1974 and an article by Jerome Phillips for Antique Collecting and Antique Finder published in February 1979. A more recent feature written by Amy Gale entitled „Form Becomes Functional‟ for the Arts & Antiques magazine was released in March 2003. Dr. Clive Edwards, Edward T. Joy and Viscount David Linley also discuss the subject in books they published between 1977 and 2005. Together, these sources offer an excellent overview of the mechanical furniture being manufactured during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These sources have also provided inspiration and valuable input for this examination of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair.


The story of the Metamorphic Library Chair provides a interesting example of how discovery, design and fashion-driven demand led to a surge of innovation in the Georgian furniture trade. It shows how the rediscovery of classical architecture and the first „interior decorators‟ had a significant impact on furniture design. As the facts unfold, it becomes clear how a combination of craft and mechanical skills helped to create new markets and how a simple idea captured the imagination of Regency London. The entrepreneurial firm of Morgan & Sanders and the traditional firm of Gillows offer an interesting contrast. Both firms left evidence of their Metamorphic Library Chair output but the details of their designs have remained open to speculation for more than a hundred years. Similarities in the chairs made by a number of Regency period cabinet-makers and the shortage of marked examples have resulted in false claims and widespread confusion. Metamorphic Library Chairs are frequently advertised as being based on a patent held by Morgan & Sanders but the research indicates that a patent never existed. Some vendors claim that Morgan & Sanders created the design or that Gillows chairs are slightly larger but there is no evidence to support either of these claims. This dissertation charts the development of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair and explains how cabinet-makers of the early nineteenth century differentiated their designs. It separates the facts from the assumptions and it offers attribution guidelines that should be of value to the trade.


- 3 -


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136