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and carronade78 as the flagship turned broadside to engage the enemy (Tomlinson, 2009). But the claim that a Metamorphic Library Chair was used on board HMS Victory may be flawed. Nelson was five feet six inches tall, exactly the same as the beam height of his cabin, and Library Steps would therefore have been unnecessary (Goodwin, 2009). Even so, this is a good „honest‟ chair of the period, with a strong verbal provenance and initial research has failed to prove or disprove the claim.


It is clear from the few examples provided that Morgan & Sanders and Gillows are unlikely to have been the only manufacturers of the Regency period Metamorphic Library Chair. In addition to the London-based firms such as Seddon and Taprell & Holland there were several hundred equally competent chair and cabinet-makers in the city and many would have had the skills necessary to add library steps to the Trafalgar Chair design. In addition to the cabinet-makers of London, top-end makers such as Trotter in Edinburgh as well as Gillows in Lancaster and others, would also have been asked by their clients to make versions of the chair. Nevertheless, there appears to be no dominant style other than that employed by Morgan & Sanders and there is little doubt that they were responsible for a large proportion of the Metamorphic Library Chairs being manufactured and sold at the time.


The Metamorphic Library Chair was only one example of the mechanical furniture phenomena that was sweeping through the furniture trade at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It seemed as though everything needed to serve a purpose and the more purposes it served the more desirable it became. Beds including chair- beds, sofa-beds and beds contained in bureaus had been around since the middle of the eighteenth century and they remained a reliable source of income for most patent furniture manufacturers. Despite the problems of bed bugs, it seemed as though the capacity to unfold a mattress from a cupboard or wardrobe more than justified the infestation. Viscount Linley in his book entitled „Extraordinary Furniture‟ describes a commode-bed that was made by the Swedish cabinet-maker, Georg Haupt for Gustavus III around 1780 (Linley, 1996, p. 125). Even Campbell (1774), in his patent application, recognised the wider potential for his invention and the specification covered Library Steps in stools, tables, desks and chairs. The metamorphic design limitations seemed endless and furniture manufacturers certainly pushed the boundaries. As the demand for novelty furniture increased,


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