Sussex Chair designed by Philip Webb, c. 1865

Single chair from Sussex range, wood with rush seat. The Sussex range of modest seat furniture, which started with an armchair and a single chair, expanded as a result of the commercial success of the design. Eventually it included corner chairs, children's chairs, and settles. This was a relatively inexpensive chair from the Sussex range whose design was probably an adaptation by Webb of a standard side chair with turned back section and legs. Morris referred to its production in a letter to James Mavor, ‘The cheapest chair we can sell costs about 7s/0 (and they are made 4 of 5 dozen at a time too)…’(Kelvin, 1343). Burne-Jones noted in his account book that in May 1865 he paid the firm £3 4s. for eight plain Sussex chairs and in February 1868 he paid another £2 16s. for twelve Sussex Chairs. This design was still priced at 7s. in the Morris & Co. catalogue c.1910. Sussex chairs were supplied to numerous clients for many different locations including the Hall, Common Room and students’ rooms at Newnham College, Cambridge in the 1890s. When Sydney Cockerell became Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum he acquired examples for use there in the galleries and offices, where they still remain. Other firms, particularly Liberty & Co. and Heals, produced their own versions of this popular design. See 'William Morris' ed. by Linda Perry (London: Philip Wilson in association with V&A, 1998, P.176. ISBN: 0856674419) and 'V&A collections' catalogue (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?listing_type=image&offset=0&limit=15&narrow=&extrasearch=&q=sussex+chair&commit=Search&quality=2&objectnamesearch=&placesearch=&after=&before=&namesearch=&materialsearch=&mnsearch=&locationsearch=)

Record ID:F1
Measurement:H: 86, W: 43, D: 38 cm
Classification:Furniture
Artist:Philip Webb
Medium:Wood, rush
References:'William Morris' ed. by Linda Perry (London: Philip Wilson in association with V&A, 1998, P.176. ISBN: 0856674419) and 'V&A collections' catalogue (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?listing_type=image&offset=0&limit=15&narrow=&extrasearch=&q=sussex+chair&commit=Search&quality=2&objectnamesearch=&placesearch=&after=&before=&namesearch=&materialsearch=&mnsearch=&locationsearch=)