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Armchair
  • Armchair
    Lutyens, Edwin Landseer Sir, born 1869 - died 1944
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Armchair

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1925 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lutyens, Edwin Landseer Sir, born 1869 - died 1944 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Australian black bean wood with leather upholstery

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the British Medical Association

  • Museum number:

    W.42:1, 2-1987

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In February 1925 the Australian branches of the British Medical Association offered to commission a gift for the new London headquarters of the parent organisation in Tavistock Square. After some discussion it was decided that the gift should be a President’s chair for the Great Hall. The chair was to be designed and made in Britain incorporating Australian materials and emblems. Constructed in Australian Black Bean wood, the Australian coat of arms is emblazoned on the front and an inscription about why the chair was commissioned is on the back.

The chair was designed by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) who had also been commissioned by the BMA to design the building for their new headquarters. Lutyens studied architecture at the South Kensington School of Art and later trained with Ernest George and Harold Ainsworth. In 1888 he started his own practise and having followed the Arts and Crafts style in his early years, he later developed a more classical style. This chair is by no means typical of Lutyens' work but it is a good example of the historicist leanings of the George V period when some designers looked to the exuberant baroque forms of the 17th century for inspiration. The robust form of the chair with its turned front legs, scrolling arms, high crested seat-back and leather upholstery is clearly influenced by furniture from the earlier period.

Physical description

Australian black bean wood with red leather upholstery (now faded to brown), Australian coat of arms on the front of the chair back, inscription relating to why commissioned on back of chair back.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1925 (made)

Artist/maker

Lutyens, Edwin Landseer Sir, born 1869 - died 1944 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Australian black bean wood with leather upholstery

Marks and inscriptions

BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION / [AUSTRALIAN COAT OF ARMS]
On front of the back of the chair, stamped on leather upholstery.

BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION / PRESIDENT'S CHAIR / Presented by the Branches of the British Medical Association / in Australia / to / the Parent Association in England / in token of / kinship, loyalty and goodwill, / to celebrate the Entry of the Association into its New House, / Tavistock Square, London, / July, 1925. / "...ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links / of iron."
On back of the back of the chair, stamped on leather upholstery.

Dimensions

Height: 170 cm, Width: 97 cm, Depth: 53 cm

Object history note

Historical significance: 'The chair is a typically quirky if ponderous Lutyens design, echoing baroque prototypes but distinctly George V in character.' (Curator's notes on 'Objects to be Shown to the Board of Trustees' document)

Descriptive line

Australian black bean wood, leather upholstery, Sir Edwin Lutyens for the British Medical Association, 1925

Cushion for armchair

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

British Medical Journal, July 1925.

Labels and date

PRESIDENTIAL CHAIR OF THE BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens (British, 1869-1944)
Australian black bean wood with red leather upholstery
1925

Given by the British Medical Association

W.42-1987 [1989-2006]

Materials

Australian black bean wood; Leather

Techniques

Upholstering

Categories

Furniture

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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