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  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1870-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brown, Ford Madox, born 1821 - died 1893 (designer)
    Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (furniture workers)
    Morris & Co. (furniture workers)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Place of Origin

London (possibly, made)


1870-1900 (made)


Brown, Ford Madox, born 1821 - died 1893 (designer)
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (furniture workers)
Morris & Co. (furniture workers)

Object history note

This chair is part of a set with another chair, Circ. 26-1962, and two armchairs, Circ. 27 and Circ. 28-1962. The chairs and armchairs, which have round seats and square backs with a design of crossed and horizontal rails, are examples of the different designs developed for the Sussex range of rush-seated chairs. The range was illustrated by Morris & Co., in their catalogue, Specimens of Furniture Upholstery & Interior Decoration, n.d. (c. 1912), page 63.

It is not clear who was responsible for the original design of the round-seated chair and armchair nor when the design was first introduced into the Sussex range. This design was attributed to Ford Madox Brown, one of the original partners in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., in a periodical, The Furnisher, III, 1900-1, pp. 61-3. If Madox Brown was responsible for the design, it was presumably before the firm was re-organised under William Morris's sole direction, against the wishes of Brown and two other partners, and renamed Morris & Co. in 1875.

On loan to Newstead Abbey, Nottingham, 1979 - 2012.

Historical context note

Although there are incomplete business records for both Morris, Marshall, Falkner & Co. and Morris & Co., it is possible to identify early owners of the chair with round rush seat and a back composed of crossed and horizontal rails. Edward Burne-Jones, a close friend of Morris, ordered four round-seated chairs from Morris & Co in 1878 which may have been of this type. Three chairs with round seats and backs with crossed and horizontal rails are shown in a photograph c. 1898 of Georgiana Burne-Jones's sitting room in their house, the Grange, North End Road, London (RCHME). William and Jane Morris also used this type of chair at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, as shown in photographs of Morris's study (National Portrait Gallery) and of the drawing room (RCHME).

Descriptive line

wood stained green with turned frame and round rush seat; from the Sussex range of chairs by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., later Morris & Co., English 1870-1900

Production Note

The design of the chair with round seat and square back with crossed and horizontal rails in the Sussex range was attributed to Ford Madox Brown by The Furnisher, III, 1900-1, pp. 61-3.



Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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