Arts & Crafts Furniture
6 Gordon Russell Arts & Crafts Cotswold School English Oak Chairs c. 1928.
A Set of 6 Arts & Crafts Cotswold School English Oak Chair by Gordon Russell made c. 1928. A lovely set of very early Gordon Russell “Clissett’ style rush seated chairs (an earlier variation of the famous Bedale Chair) with original Gordon Russell labels and made by either R Pepper or Edward Gadiner. We have more of these chairs available if you want a larger set. Featuring:
- Solid English Oak and Ash throughout.
- Ash uprights and lower two rails and Oak stretchers and top rail.
- Rush seating.
- Three hand curved rails.
- Traditional joints all secured with hand made pegs.
Approximate dimensions are:
- Overall Height 860mm (2 feet 9 3/4 inches).
- Seat Height 460mm (1 foot 6 inches) [A standard height for a chair].
- Overall Width 420mm (1 foot 4 1/2 inches).
- Overall Depth 450mm (1 foot 5 1/2 inches).
"Russell Workshops" copper label to the underside of 2 chairs (introduced in about 1927 and phased out around 1929). For a set of the same design, see Burstow & Hewett‘s 8th July 2021 sale lot 241 or Bonhams Decorative Arts including Jewellery, Gordon Russell and Cotswold School Furniture Sale 2nd June 2009 Lot 5.
Good sound condition with the original finish and rush seating and firm joints. Some minor marks and scuffs and some wear and loose or broken strands in the rushing, but still robust enough for everyday use and overall remarkably good condition for 90 year old chairs!. 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.
One of the most important names in British design and a leading maker of arts and crafts furniture. His early furniture was hand-made in small numbers to a very high standard, adopting the Cotswold School philosophy pioneered by Ernest Gimson and the Barnsleys of usefulness and truth to materials. Always passionate about high standards of craftsmanship, many of his 1930s designs evolved to bridge the gap from the early arts and crafts movement to modern, minimalist forms while retaining the quality of materials and construction expected of the best Arts & Crafts furniture.
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 Cotswold School was a development of the Arts and Craft Movement started largely by Ernest Gimson and the brothers Sidney and Ernest Barnsley. The furniture is instantly recognisable with its simple lines, attention to the finest of details, and use of beautiful materials. Cotswold School designs were crafted from local materials using traditional tools and techniques and with decorative details derived largely from utilitarian elements: exposed joinery, unusual panels, interesting pulls and latches crafted either from wood or from metal using traditional smithing techniques, and close attention to form as well as to wood grain and pattern. Where decorative details were added they generally took the form of traditional embellishment such as exposed joints, chamfered edges and chip carved edge details. The style was embraced and developed by other designers and craftsmen including Gordon Russell, Stanley Webb Davies in Cumbria, Sid Barnsley's son Edward, Arthur Romney Green in Hampshire, Robin Nance in St Ives and Ambrose Heal are a handful of such men out of many. The best developed their own style within the established tradition.
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