The Morris chair was designed by Ephraim Colman, an Englishman, and was taken to market by William Morris of Morris and Co in 1866. Many of these chairs were made of oak and came to represent the Mission Arts and Craft movement. Still manufactured today, the basic design is known to provide ultimate comfort. The high back and high, wide arm rests contribute to this comfort and are known attributes to this type chair.
The Morris chair is important because it was an early version of the reclining chair. The hinged back reclines in three to four different reclining angles.
Some were covered in leather cushions and others in fabric. Earlier chairs had cushions sewn into the chair while later cushions were removable. The removable cushions, like the one we found, allowed the fabric to be easily replaced.
One of the signature features of a Morris chair are the square mortises that help hold the joints together but just as importantly act as accents to the chair.
As we opened the double barn doors of the upper back side of the barn we were welcomed with a ray of sunlight through the huge window on the opposite wall of the barn. Careful not to derail the old barn doors off their old cast iron tracks we entered carefully watching our steps. Tarps, boxes and wood crates were everywhere… and we had our work cut out for us.
We found several old tools, a turn of the century typewriter, architectural doors and windows, a cast iron pot belly stove, an old oak desk from the late 1800s and even a 200 lbs. boat anchor and buoy.
Beyond all that we pulled back a tarp and layers of plastic to find our gem. It was a Morris, mission style, rocking chair. Looking on its back we found a label “Quaker Mission Craft”. It included the brown cloth cushions and original springs. The back adjustable cross bar was no where to be found but it was still in very good condition with fantastic patina. It was a great find!
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