The Saville Easy Chair thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

The Saville Easy Chair

Armchair
ca. 1890 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This type of chair is referred to as a Saville armchair. It is an example of furniture produced during the later phase of production of Morris & Company. It was probably designed by George Jack, who from 1880 worked as the assistant to the firm’s chief furniture designer, Philip Webb. Jack took over from Webb after his retirement in 1890. Although there is no definite evidence that Jack designed the chair, the wavy outlines of the vertical rails under the arms are reminiscent of details on a sideboard designed by Jack and shown by Morris & Company at the Manchester Jubilee Exhibition in 1887.

The chair is covered in Utrecht Velvet (a stamped mohair plush), which has faded from its original olive-green colour. The fabric was sold in a number of colourways, for seat upholstery.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Mahogany, upholstered in Utrecht Velvet
Brief Description
The Saville Easy Chair, probably designed by George Jack, made by Morris & Co., mahogany upholstered in velvet, Britain, ca.1890.
Physical Description
The front legs of square section but swelling to a baluster shape. The back legs sloping backwards in a very slight S curve. All four legs have brass castors with porcelain wheels. The seat which is fully upholstered over the seat rails in cut velvet and has a serpentine front and sides but a straight back. The shaped and fully upholstered back-rest slopes slightly backwards and has a serpentine top with slight 'ears' at the corners. The arm supports rise from the side seat rail a little back from the front corners They are inset into the seat rails but not upholstered and at this level are simple square section; above this they rise as square section double balusters. They are connected by a curved rail to the back just above the upholstered seat. The arm rests themselves are straight on the bottom but curve up on top to join the back. They curve out in the middle to support an upholstered arm pad and then narrow and curve out again at the end where they terminate in a volute. The arm rest and lower rail are connected by a row of vertical rails of square section but wavy in outline.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 96.5cm
  • Approx. width: 61cm
  • Approx. depth: 71cm
Dimensions converted from the feet and inches measurements listed in the departmental green catalogues.
Style
Gallery Label
SAVILLE ARMCHAIR ENGLIGH: about 1890 Manufactured by Morris & Co. Mahogany with original upholstery of Utrecht Velvet George Jack probably designed this chair, although no definite evidence has been found as yet. Alternative versions, with arm supports and legs in the shape of balusters, survive at Standen, West Sussex.(1993)
Credit line
Given by Miss F. J. Lefroy
Subject depicted
Summary
This type of chair is referred to as a Saville armchair. It is an example of furniture produced during the later phase of production of Morris & Company. It was probably designed by George Jack, who from 1880 worked as the assistant to the firm’s chief furniture designer, Philip Webb. Jack took over from Webb after his retirement in 1890. Although there is no definite evidence that Jack designed the chair, the wavy outlines of the vertical rails under the arms are reminiscent of details on a sideboard designed by Jack and shown by Morris & Company at the Manchester Jubilee Exhibition in 1887.



The chair is covered in Utrecht Velvet (a stamped mohair plush), which has faded from its original olive-green colour. The fabric was sold in a number of colourways, for seat upholstery.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.401-1960

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record createdJuly 26, 2001
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