Chair Bed by Morgan & Sanders
Chair Bed by Morgan & Sanders
A mahogany Chair Bed by the celebrated Georgian makers, Morgan and Sanders.
This design of Chair, that could fold out to be come a bed as well as pack down for ease of travel or storage, was made by most of the Catherine Street workshops. As can be read on their biography by clicking on their name above, Morgan & Sanders worked for Thomas Butler before they set up on their own. They claimed some of his designs were theirs and consequently they, Butler and his heirs all produced similar furniture. Both businesses described this chair on their sales flyers with the same words : 'Upon the best and most approved principle forming a handsome easy chair, and is with great ease transformed into a Tent Bed, with Furniture and Bedding complete'. They both also illustrated the chair so heavily dressed in fabric that barely any wood was on view.
This partly explains the very 'square' look and expanse of mahogany to the chair. It was meant mostly as a canvas for the removable material that covered it and was used to form the drapes when set up with its posts to become a Tent Bed. The other reasons were that the solid back and sides could easily be folded down as boards for travel and would exclude drafts when set up.
The shaped sides of the Chair Bed are fixed to the back on bolts towards the top of the chair. They are also fitted to the seat frame on iron hinges that allow them to fold into towards each other or be lifted and removed from the seat. With the sides folded, the back will then fold forward to rest on them, changing the appearance from a chair to more like a coffee table. The back can also be kept upright, when the two sides are removed, by a pair of battens that will twist to either support the back or let it fold. The beds posts used to transform it into a four-poster bed have long since disappeared but this is the case with the majority of this form of Chair Bed.
This Chair Bed has suffered in its life and at some stage has been through a workshop. Half of the left side board has been replaced, along with its iron hinges, and the slats to the bottom section of the seat have been replaced with webbing and material. Three rails to the fold out pine frames are replacements. All of the castors have been replaced and one leg has had part of the bottom column extended, where it was damaged, to take the castor. The bolts to the back and the brass fittings to take the missing bed posts are also replaced.
Morgan and Sanders brass name plate is set to the middle of the seat frame, where you expect to see it. It gives their address as 16 & 17 Catherine Street. They were in business between 1801 and 1818, when Sanders died and the company changed names to Morgan & Co.
This early form of chair bed is still very practical today giving a substantial armchair that has a secondary use as a fold out bed. Circa 1810.
Size as a Chair is given.
Morgan & Sanders
Some restoration as described in the text.
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