Arts & Crafts - Wm Morris Sofas & settles

Wm Morris chesterfield;
Arts & Crafts Movement Wm Morris & Co. chesterfield sofa c.1885

Designwise this sofa does not distinguish itself, being a safe take on the classic chesterfield. But it is a Morris & Co. chesterfield c.1885, in walnut & the classic Willow Bough fabric. But it does have a very typical English understated elegance. It gives you another look for new sofas you could reproduce. Made to order.



Morris 'Sussex' style rush seated sofas;
Arts & Crafts Movement Wm Morris & Co. Dante Gabriel Rossetti 'Rosetti' style rush seated sofa bench triple chair  Arts & Crafts Movement Wm Morris & Co. 'Sussex' style rush seated sofa bench triple chair

While not strictly sofas in the modern sense, and you probably wouldn't want to sit on one for hours, they do show another way of addressing the need for Arts & Crafts seating. Above right is shown the classic Morris & Co. black 'Sussex' triple chair, with rush seat. Above right is a rarer version with 'Rossetti chair' back design in white. Both version are very elegant and would definately add a strong Arts & Crafts look to a room, although these were probably originally used more in hallways. Needless to say lots of labour intensive handwork makes them expensive, but they are hard to get hold of originals in these sizes, so worth considering.



 

Morris 'Artisan' style painted sofas;
New reproduction Wm Morris Arts & Crafts Movement green painted chesterfield sofa New reproduction Wm Morris Arts & Crafts Movement green painted chesterfield sofa

This painted sofa form parts of the Wm Morris's 'Artisan' furniture group. The plain Reformed Gothic shape & details & the green painted finish link it to other furniture from the range. The sofa is not the sort of 'soft' upholstery sofa we know today, but it does sit as part of the general Arts & Crafts genre. It has a loose upholstered seat covered with Willow Bough fabric, and is shown with a couple of matching bolster cushions. Also, shown is an antiqued white version of the same. The sofa could equally be fully upholstered, including the back.


Bench style Oak sofa with Willow Bough cushions;;
New Arts & Crafts Movement Frank Lloyd Wright Mission Prairie style oak built in sofa window seat

Above left is a built-in window sofa for a London client. The initial design, which had more of a Frank Lloyd Wright feel to it, progressed till we ended up with the finished piece. The sofa was designed to include some storage, and they had end bookcases & cupboards under the seats. Finished off with Morris's Willow Bough fabric. The sofa was made from oak.


 

Phillip Webb designed settle;
Arts & Crafts Movement Wm Morris & Co. Phillip Webb designed settle sofa bench with painted back panel

Phillip Webb designed several large settle benches for Morris & Co., starting with one for Morris's Red House. These are as far removed as you can get from the idea of a modern comfortable sofa, they are iconic pieces of Arts & Crafts furniture. But essentially they are still seating, just with more presence. There were several to choose from, such as the painted one from Kelmscott shown to oak versions, most of them with high ornate back panelling. We could reproduce one of these pieces if required, but they would not be cheap.

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