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  • Place of origin:

    Winkworth (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1985 (designed)
    ca. 1987 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carter, Ronald (designer)
    Peter Miles Furniture Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Benugo

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In November 1985 the V&A opened the New Restaurant (as it was then known) in the vaulted brick basement of the Henry Cole Wing, (which had been built as the School of Naval Architecture in 1871). The furniture was commissioned from Ronald Carter, who in 1971 had been appointed a Royal Designer for Industry for his furniture design. The New Restaurant later gained notoriety as the 'Ace caff with quite a nice museum attached', as promoted in a late-1980s advertisement for the V&A. The furniture entered the catalogue of its Derbyshire-based manufacturer, Peter Miles Furniture Ltd, as the Buxton range, and was specified for other museum cafes including the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The simple right-angled joinery of this furniture derives from Arts and Crafts traditions. Nothing is superfluous and there is no decoration. The chairs were identical to the stools, with the addition of simple back rails, and the flat stools were just as serviceable as small tables. In addition there were round and square tables and coat stands, all made of the same ash wood. One hundred chairs were specified for the restaurant, at a cost of £74 each. The furniture was particularly durable and remained in service in the New Restaurant until its closure in November 2006.

Physical description

Chair made entirely of ash with four straight legs, side stretchers joined by a central rail, and a slatted seat. The rear legs bend backwards to form the seat back, joined by a curved back rail.

Place of Origin

Winkworth (manufactured)


ca. 1985 (designed)
ca. 1987 (manufactured)


Carter, Ronald (designer)
Peter Miles Furniture Ltd (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'This is the property of / MILBURNS RESTAURANT LTD / No:'
White plastic label with black printing, fixed to the inside edge of the front rail

'V / 002'
Invenrtory number hand written in black ink, on the white plastic label


Height: 815 mm, Width: 480 mm, Depth: 480 mm including lean of seat back

Object history note

Part of the furnishings of the V&A ' New Restaurant', opened in the basement of the Henry Cole Wing in November 1985, closed in November 2006.

Historical context note

The chair, together with tables, stools, sideboards and coatstands, were designed by Ronald Carter specifically for the New Restaurant at the V&A. They later entered the catalogue of Peter Miles Furniture Ltd as the Buxton range.

Descriptive line

Ash chair with straight legs and slatted seat, designed by Ronald Carter ca. 1985 and manufactured by Peter Miles Furniture Ltd, Winkworth.


Ash (wood)


Furniture; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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