Sit back & relax

December 28, 2017


Morris Style Reclining Chair

C. 1885


The term “Morris chair” today is applied to a large chair that has an adjustable back. The style of chair is named after its creator, the British designer William Morris (1834-1896). In 1861, Morris started a business entitled Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. which was later renamed Morris & Co.


Morris introduced a revolution in design. Believing furniture should be hand-crafted and made with traditional techniques, he is credited with being the father of the Arts and Craft movement. Morris-style furniture became very popular from the Victorian Era through the 1930s.   


Morris chairs were notable for being able to recline. Unlike recliners today, they were extremely low-tech. The back of the chair hinged onto the bottom of the seat. A brass bar fitted into a series of notches to control the angle of the back piece.


According to a 1916 probate inventory of the Physick Estate, this reclining chair was in the Library where it remains today.