Friday, 21 June 2013

'Pass' Chair Designed by Ernest Gimson-Piece of the Week

These are remarkable chairs designed by Ernest Gimson.

Yes, we know most people think a chair is for sitting on, but if you study the evolution of design through the ages nowhere is it more apparent than in furniture design.
The way a chair sits is paramount to its worth, oh yes, and how comfortable it is, also matters to some.
 But sometimes comfort can give way to design because after all a piece of furniture is also there to look at.

You may have a surplus of chairs or tables, but sometimes just for aesthetic reasons it proves important to have something around you that you, that can adore that gives you pleasure.
If it works as a design and you can reliably sit on it well there you go.

This is a design which, at its time of manufacture has one foot in he past.
The splats on the back of the chair are taken from a French design.
The whole chair looks as if it could have come from an older period, which is of course something the artisans of the British arts and Crafts movement strived to achieve.

All the honesty and integrity of construction is evident in the design and I particularly love the way the upright support for the ever so slender armrest almost looks as if it had been speared into the frame.
As if a matador, had launched a pair of daggers diagonally, just to put a finishing touch on the carefully thought out design.

Apart from design this is an architectural important element of the construction.
They allow the narrowness of the uprights to astound you at the delicacy. They seem to float, those the arms that gently bend.
It is both a masculine and a feminine design for this reason.
Without the surprising part of its design you could never enable such a fragile looking armrest to function.

And function it does it is comfortable and is supportive of the back. You know it’s a craftsman made piece as all the joints are pegged. But despite it being made by craftsmen piece it still feels fresh and modern today as when it was designed in 1907.
Edward Gardiner probably made this chair, on or shortly after that date.


It is known at The Pass Chair, simply because, a Mrs Pass commissioned the design from F.W Troop.

The design was used as platform chair for a church hall in Wootten Fitzpaine in Devon.
Also known a higher backed version, which is often described as The Chairman’s Chair.
Cheltenham Museum has a pair in their collection donated by B.J Fletcher who was the headmaster of the Leicester School of Art and also Birmingham Municipal School of Art.
Fletcher is known for his designs for Harry Peach of Dryad and it was said he was an exponent o the arts and crafts ideals.

That aside it is just a smashing looking chair.

This chair is for sale at £980.

I have another making it a pair and that chairs seat has been re-rushed.




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