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Chair - Model X201

Model X201

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Stevenage (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1947 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Leonard, James (designer)
    Educational Supply Association (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded 3-ply beech-faced plywood and cast aluminium

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Chair, with moulded beech-faced plywood seat and backrest and cast aluminium frame, painted silver-grey, with splayed 'compass' legs. The frame consists of two cast aluminum sections - each forming half of the chair's back support and one of the chair's front and back legs. The two halves are joined by aluminium bars at the front and back of the seat and between the back legs. The moulded plywood seat and backrest are attached the fame by rivets at either side.

Place of Origin

Stevenage (manufactured)


1947 (designed)


Leonard, James (designer)
Educational Supply Association (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded 3-ply beech-faced plywood and cast aluminium

Marks and inscriptions

17 1/2"
Stamped on underside of seat


Height: 85.8 cm, Height: 42.3 cm, Width: 42.2 cm, Depth: 38.6 cm, Depth: 54 cm

Descriptive line

School chair (model X201), designed by James Leonard, manufactured by the Educational Supply Association, moulded plywood and cast aluminium, Stevenage, Britain, designed 1947

Labels and date

Text from Plywood: Material of the Modern World (15 July-12 November 2017)

Designed 1948

This is an early example of the use of
visible, moulded plywood in post-war
school furniture. Plywood went on to
become one of the standard materials
of the classroom. Leonard’s school
chairs were celebrated for their use of
modern materials – moulded plywood
and aluminium. Around a million of these
chairs had been manufactured for schools
by the mid 1960s.

Designed by James Leonard (dates unknown)
Manufactured by the Educational Supply Association
Stevenage, Britain
Moulded 3-ply beech-faced plywood and cast aluminium

V&A: W.12-2017 [2017]


Beech plywood; Aluminium


Moulding; Casting


Furniture; Education & Learning

Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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