Friday, 2 August 2013

Are you sitting comfortably Arthur Romney Green?

I was recently talking to the Rector at St Christopher's Church, Haslemere, when I mentioned the church's Arthur Romney Green altar chair I did not anticipate her response.  Apparently the chair is extremely uncomfortable to sit in, and she refuses to sit in it for that very reason!  That knowledge has made me feel a little disappointed in the craftsmanship and it raises the question of form over function.  

I have quite a few pictures of Arthur Romney Green chairs.  It is interesting to look at these and not just admire their forms but also to wonder on how they may feel to sit in.

Sanctuary chair (oak) for St Christopher's Church, Haslemere
by Arthur Romney Green
from Art Workers' Quarterly Volume 4, Issue 13, January 1905 (p.45)
Walnut Chair convertible into Table
by Arthur Romney Green
from Art Workers' Quarterly Volume 4, Issue 13, January 1905 (p.45)
Arthur Romney Green chair which converts into a table
from Elkin, Susan, Life to the Lees:
A Biography of Arthur Romney Green
, The Cromwell Press Limited, 1998



Dining Room Chairs in Spanish chestnut
by Arthur Romney Green
from Art Workers' Quarterly Volume 4, Issue 13, January 1905 (p.45)

Arthur Romney Green chair
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum
Ceremonial chair by Arthur Romney Green,
Christchurch Priory from 
Elkin, Susan, Life to the Lees:
A Biography of Arthur Romney Green
, The Cromwell Press Limited, 1998
Arm Chair of English Oak, with Laced Leather Seat,
designed and made by Arthur Romney Green,
Art Journal, November 1906

Arthur Romney Green chair and table
for sale at Haslam & Whiteway Ltd


Arthur Romney Green chairs
from Elkin, Susan, Life to the Lees:
A Biography of Arthur Romney Green
, The Cromwell Press Limited, 1998
Arthur Romney Green chair,
photograph held at the National Art Library,
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
The National Art Library holds photographs of Arthur Romney Green works which members of the public have sent in.

Arthur Romney Green chair
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum
Arthur Romney Green chair
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum


Arthur Romney Green chair
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum
Arthur Romney Green chair
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum

The Millinery Works describe the chair below as "A rare oak Capstan armchair of exposed dowel construction, with chamfered legs and splats, profusely carved to the edges of the seat and to the splats with signature diamond motif carving, by Arthur Romney Green, circa 1925. 75.5cm (30in) high. See similar chair in The Studio 1924 p 101."
 
Arthur Romney Green chair
for sale The Millinery Works Art Gallery

The Antiques Atlas describes the stool below as: "Elm and oak stool attributed to Arthur Romney Green, of carved and joined construction, displaying great sculptural form and presence.  It shows signs of once having an upholstered seat but is now fitted with a green leatherette loose seat pad which works very well.  Of good mellow colour, circa 1920."
Arthur Romney Green stool
sold at Antiques Atlas

Arthur Romney Green stool
sold at Antiques Atlas
Set of 6 Arthur Romney Green chairs with original leather seats
for sale at Patch Rogers
Detail from set of 6 Arthur Romney Green chairs with original leather seats
for sale at Patch Rogers
Arthur Romney Green spindle back oak chair with thronged leather seat
pair for sale at the sale room
from Elkin, Susan, Life to the Lees:
A Biography of Arthur Romney Green
, The Cromwell Press Limited, 1998


School oak armchair by Arthur Romney Green
for sale for £1,595 at Antiques Atlas
School oak armchair by Arthur Romney Green
for sale for £1,595 at Antiques Atlas 

3 comments:

  1. From experience (! having sat on a lot of Hall Chairs at auctions in my time), the first examples shown with the flat square seats would have been purgatory to sit on. In fact, the idea of the Hall Chair was to encourage visitors NOT to stay too long). The dished seats would have been more comfortable, but tbh, it is the angle of the back which makes all the difference.

    I sat in a lovely old low back Windsor chair this week and it felt made to measure . . . the angle was just right and it almost hugged you.

    Sadly, I think with the ARG chairs, form came before function . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for your blog posts - always so very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your comments.

    Yes having looked at the chairs again I agree Bovey Belle, they were probably all pretty uncomfortable.

    I like the idea of a Hall Chair being made to be uncomfortable. I guess it would have been quite sly to make an altar chair purposefully uncomfortable...

    ReplyDelete

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