An Attractive Aesthetic Movement Ebonised Armchair in the Manner of E.W.Godwin c.1900

Origin: English
Period: Aesthetic Movement
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Height: 34.5”
Width: 21.5”
Depth: 23” (all at extremities)

The ebonised reeded frame with a pierced geometric panel back, on four ring turned legs, the seat upholstered in red and white waffle fabric, survives from early twentieth century England and inspired by the designs of E.W.Godwin.

The chair has signs of wear to the ebonised finish as you would expect to the extremities EG to the top of the arms, which is attractive, and there is some wear to the upholstery which is relatively contemporary. She remains sturdy with the frame tight and there are no losses, repairs or signs of restoration evident.

The aesthetic movement can be seen as the bridge to the arts and crafts style. It often had formalised, restrained ornamentation, and was heavily influenced by Japanese decoration, knowledge of which flowed to the West in the nineteenth century through oriental imports. It rebelled against the lavish ornamentation and over-embellishment of the high Victorian period, and sought a purer, more precise level of expression.

Godwin a true pioneer of his day, a revolutionary of his time the Godfather of the modern movement and a significant leader in the influence on domestic design, one of the first people to incorporate economy and hygiene into his furniture, his thinning designs using as little wood as appropriate yet making the piece as strong as possible, so even a maid could move the furniture on her own to clean behind and under and designed furniture without dust attracting area's so important in an age where disease was rife. His disbandment of clumsy or over ornate detailing his lean toward line and form in a purely Japanese style yet he never visited Japan, it is thought that he was most probably the first man in England to decorate his entire house in the Japanese style and drew part of his inspiration from 2 volumes of Hokusai's Mangwa from which he gained his knowledge of Japanese wood construction and he carefully studied original pieces on display at museums.

Design way ahead of its time.