This handsome oak armchair was designed by the architect John Cundall for his newly commissioned Royal Leamington Spa Town Hall in 1884. The back has the town's coat of arms carved in a roundel on the back. The local company who won the contract to make the furniture, with the lowest quotation, was Stevens & Plucknett. An earlier incarnation of the much better known Collier & Plucknett. They provided furniture to Tyntesfield (NT) and many local estates.
More research needs to be done, but it is thought around 30 of these armchairs were made. Primarily for use in the council chamber, as seen in the photograph from Warwickshire County Record Office's website OurWarwickshire.org.uk.
Photographs of side chair, armchair and table from excellent article by Melanie Hall, "James Plucknett of Warwick and Leamington" in the Regional Furniture Society journal. Vol. 32 (1996), pp. 159-178 (20 pages).
Most of the furnishings have been thrown out or sold off over the years, so this is possibly quite a rare survivor. There were 13 armchairs left at the town hall in 1996.
This would make a fabulous desk chair with an interesting history.
The red vinyl was added by the council, originally they were upholstered in marroon leather.
- Stevens and Plucknett, Collier and Plucknett
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