chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

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chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby robin wood » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:52 pm

OK mods I have a post to make about chairs and don't know where to put it.

I know there were a few posts about chairs a while ago but don't know where they are. Seems to me if we have a bowl section we really should have a chair section. Anyway hope a mod can move this somewhere appropriate.

I had a bust day in London yesterday and one of my visits was to the Art Workers Guild. I did not get the time to go through them in detail but they have the most fantastic collection of ladderbacks there. The first ones were commissioned from Philip Clisset and Gimson saw them here leading him to go and learn chairmaking with Clisset and the rest they say is history. read more about it here http://gimson.leicester.gov.uk/gimsonpa ... the-craft/

Here are some of the chairs, the dark ones at the back are Clisset's, there are several generations of newer chairs made by fol who have been members of the guild over the last 120 years. Does anyone know if these have been written up anywhere? It would make a great article.

Image

Image
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby davestovell » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:33 pm

Nice chairs and thanks for the link. I bet it was hard to tear yourself away?

Just for reference, here are a couple of links that whilst not green woodwork may be of interest and fill in a few gaps:

http://www.frederick-parker-foundation.org/index.php

(this collection is in the room where I go for a design talk every month)

and:

http://www.vads.ahds.ac.uk/collections/FPC.html

There are also some examples of David Pye in the Furniture and Wood section here:

http://www.vads.ahds.ac.uk/collections/CSC.html
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby RichardLaw » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:39 pm

Image

The competition!
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby robin wood » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:45 pm

RichardLaw wrote:Image

The competition!


That is magnificent, that really should go in the next gazette and if I was a chairmaker I would blow it up and have it on my demo stand.
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby Follansbee » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:36 am

[quote="robin wood"] the Art Workers Guild. I did not get the time to go through them in detail but they have the most fantastic collection of ladderbacks there. The first ones were commissioned from Philip Clisset and Gimson saw them here leading him to go and learn chairmaking with Clisset and the rest they say is history. read more about it here http://gimson.leicester.gov.uk/gimsonpa ... the-craft/

Here are some of the chairs, the dark ones at the back are Clisset's, there are several generations of newer chairs made by fol who have been members of the guild over the last 120 years. Does anyone know if these have been written up anywhere? It would make a great article.

Robin

This seems like a logical place to plug the Regional Furniture Society...
I don't know anything about Clisset or Gimson, that stuff is too new for me. But that pile of chairs has to appeal to someone...so there must be an article in it for some chair fiend. Does Bill Cotton's book mention them? I checked the contents of the RFS journal and there seems to be nothing at all about Clissett nor Gimson. I'm surprised.
for those unfamiliar with the RFS, here's the link to their site:
http://www.regionalfurnituresociety.com/home.htm
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby SeanHellman » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:44 am

Peter, that is a great link, especially the section they have on Westcountry furniture. I know of only one person still making the Yealmpton Windsor chair.
Those flashing links are a bit mad, I have never seen anyone use links like that before.
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby RichardLaw » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:23 am

Yes, the "Marquee" flashing tag should be banned - probably it's already an option in the Firefox browser!

The book by Bill Cotton " The English Regional Chair" does indeed mention these chairs. They were apparently bought for 10/6d apiece (that's 52.5p, for you young 'uns). The design origins are also discussed and the kick given by James Maclaren the architect, who may have introduced the ladder back pattern to Clisset from an earlier design by Kerry of Evesham, Worcestershire.

I can thoroughly recommend the publications by The English Regional Furniture Society. Back copies are available here: http://www.regionalfurnituresociety.com/backjournals.htm. I bought one which described a chair maker that operated from a farm about 3 miles from my home, now, alas, drowned under a reservoir.
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby RichardLaw » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:40 am

PS
There are quite a few chairs from Bill Cotton's book at the Geffrye Museum in East London. Trouble is many of them are in store so you have to make an appointmnet to see what they have (using a double index!) and then another to see the chairs once they've dug them out.

Here are a few unglamourous pictures of a few that caught my fancy
Image
Image
Image

And an unusual bench construction:
Image
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby Emyr Parry » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:54 pm

What a fascinating thread!
Thanks for the links to the various collections. Visits to the Art Workers Guild andthe Frederick Parker collection are now a must for my next visit to London.

One great collection of vernacular chairs that I am aware of is in the Museuem of Welsh Folk Life in St Ffagan in Cardiff, Wales.
They are in the various houses on the site. Well worth visiting, and revisiting - and entry is free.
I thought I had some photos from St Ffagan that I would post onto this thread, but sadly my archiving has let me down!

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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby terryr » Mon May 24, 2010 10:28 am

The collection of chairs at the Art Workers' Guild was written up in the Newsletter of the Regional Furniture Society in 1998 (No 29). The article describes the chairs and their construction, with the benefit of having seen them through the process of restoratoin. The assumption here is that they were all by Philip Clissett. I had an opportunity to look at them all recently, and I'm convinced that all the armchairs, both high- and low-back are from the same workshop. The few side chairs, which are to a different pattern anyway, are by someone else, possibly Edward Gardiner.
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby Former Glory » Mon May 24, 2010 12:43 pm

The Basketmakers Association hold some of their meetings at the Guild and I know that their ex Treasurer re-rushed quite a few of these seats about 10 years ago. Someone in the Association must have the history of the chairs. I still have the ex Treasurers contact details so could ask him what he knows.

If anyone is interested we've got a Gimson "Pass" armchair in the workshop awaiting restoration. We bought it about 10 years ago at auction. Lovely piece.
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby terryr » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:23 pm

A website on Philip Clissett is now available at http://www.philipclissett.co.uk

Not too much at present on chairs and chairmaking, but that will come before too long.
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Re: chairs, Clisset, Gimson ladderbacks

Postby terryr » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:28 pm

The Philip Clissett website now has plenty of information about his chairs (many photographs), including:

Spindlebacks: http://www.philipclissett.co.uk/spindleback-chairs.html
Ladderbacks: http://www.philipclissett.co.uk/ladderback-chairs.html
Special chairs (e.g. children and infant's chairs): http://www.philipclissett.co.uk/special-chairs.html
Chairs by Philip's relatives: http://www.philipclissett.co.uk/relatives-chairs.html

In addition, there is now a description of how he made his chairs: http://www.philipclissett.co.uk/chairmaking.html

Hope someone finds it interesting/useful
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