Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Dining chair - Model SP9B

Model SP9B

  • Object:

    Dining chair

  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    1936 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pel Limited - Pel Furniture (designer)
    Pel Limited - Pel Furniture (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chrome-plated tubular steel and modern leather-cloth upholstery

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Pel Ltd.

  • Museum number:

    W.93A-1978

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Practical Equipment Ltd. was founded in 1931 by a consortium of steel tube manufacturers. The company emulated continental firms such as Thonet and wished to win the British market for metal furniture. This aim was boosted in their first year by winning the commission to furnish the London headquarters of the BBC in Langham Place.

Apart from a small minority, the British were resistant to what they felt was the cold, mechanical appearance of steel furniture for the home, and it proved more popular in public areas and work places. Manufacturers produced the furniture as a means of marketing steel tube, not for the utopian social concepts associated with European Modernism, the source of many of the designs.

Gareth Williams, 'British Design at Home', p.118

Physical description

Set of six dining chairs. The frame of chromed steel tube is formed at the base as three sides of a square with rounded corners. At the front it rises to form two slightly backward curving legs which rise above the seat rail to form curved arms, joining the side members of the back nearly at a right angle. The side rails of the seat are separate members welded inside the front legs, projecting straight backwards to rise after a curved join. The curved armrests follow the curvature of the arms. The seat is also slightly curving, it is screwed to flanges projecting from the side rails. The seat is formed of thick plywood, upholstered with black imitation leather (as are the arms and back).

Place of Origin

Birmingham (made)

Date

1936 (made)

Artist/maker

Pel Limited - Pel Furniture (designer)
Pel Limited - Pel Furniture (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Chrome-plated tubular steel and modern leather-cloth upholstery

Dimensions

Height: 86.3 cm, Width: 54.3 cm, Depth: 54.5 cm

Historical context note

Practical Equipment Ltd was founded in 1931 by a consortium of steel tube manufacturers. The company emulated continental fims such as Thonet and wished to win the British market for metal furniture. This aim was boosted in their first year by winning the commission to furnish the London headquarters of the BBC in Langham Place.

Apart from a small minority, the British were resistant to what they felt was the cold, mechanical appearance of steel furniture for the home and it proved more popular in public areas and work places. Manufacturers produced the furniture as a means of marketing steel tube, not for the utopian social concepts associated with European Modernism, the source of many of the designs.
[Gareth Williams, 'British Design at Home', p.118]

Descriptive line

Dining chairs, Practical Equipment Ltd, Birmingham, 1936

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

p.149
Hawkins, Jennifer and Marianne Hollis (ed). Thirties : British art and design before the war. London: Arts Council, 1979. 320pp, ill. Number: 0728702169.

Materials

Tubular steel

Techniques

Plated

Subjects depicted

Chairs

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.