Arthur W. Simpson Arts & Crafts Lakes School English Oak Armchair


An Arts & Crafts Lakes School English Oak Armchair by Arthur W. Simpson (The Handicrafts, Kendal) 1920. A classic Simpson item that will add style to any lounge, hallway or bedroom.. Featuring:

  • Very well figured quarter-sawn English Oak (quarter-sawing is a way of sawing oak to produce boards with superior strength which also reveals decorative 'medullary rays' in its grain.)
  • Four shaped back slats with simple heart motif inlay
  • Curved arms
  • Tapering square section legs joined by an h-stretcher with though tenon
  • Fabric covered drop in seat pad
  • Traditional blind and wedged through tenons

Approximate dimensions are:

  • Overall Height 1070mm (3 feet 6 inches)
  • Overall Width 650mm (2 feet 1 1/2 inch)
  • Overall Depth 650mm (2 feet 1 1/2 inch)
  • Seat Height 450mm (1 foot 5 1/2 inches) [A standard height for a chair]
If you need a very exact dimension, or one we haven't included, feel free to contact us and we will measure it for you.


See page 81, 116 and 171 in The Beautiful Furniture of The Simpsons of Kendal by Hugh Wright, Bookcase Carlisle, 2011 for a very similar designs, and Lyon And Turnbull’s Decorative Arts auction 11th November 2015 Lot 356. The very distinctive arm design is shown in 'The Simpsons of Kendal: Fine Furniture Makers' by The Millinery Works, London 2008 on page 6.

Very good condition with excellent rich colour and grain, tight joints and firm seat pad. If you wish to have further specific photographs or talk to us for a more detailed condition report then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Arthur W. Simpson and his Kendal based furniture making company 'The Handicrafts' was a renowned arts and crafts maker associated with very high quality hand crafted furniture, who worked with by members of the Artworker's Guild, such as Voysey and Baillie-Scott. Today, items of Simpson furniture are hard to find and avidly collected. Materials, workmanship and design are always of the highest quality

The most British of woods, that can produce really special results. English oak has been used for hundreds of years to construct everything from sea-going vessels to fine furniture. Although oak grows widely across Europe and North America, craftsmen continue to cherish English oak which grows more slowly than its foreign counterparts giving it strength, durability. Quarter sawn boards are very straight grained and have distinctive growth rings and medullary rays that give a very beautiful effect as well as being renowned for their superior stability and strength

The Arts & Crafts Lakes School was a development of the Arts and Craft Cotswold School. The most significant designers and makers were Arthur Simpson, in Kendal, Stanley Webb Davies at Windermere and the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Peter Hall of Staveley still produces furniture in this tradition. The Lakes School maintained the ideals with its simple lines, attention to the finest of details, the use of beautiful locally materials and the focus traditional tools and techniques. In fact Stanley Webb Davies' workshop didn't use any power tools at all, even to cut logs from timber! The dominant material was English Oak and typical decorative details often include exposed joints and subtle carved details

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