A rare and iconic set of 10 oak “Coventry Cathedral” chairs by Gordon Russell Ltd c1960.
Model no X118. Designed by Prof Dick Russell (Gordon’s brother) in 1960.
A design classic.
Coventry Cathedral in England was damaged by bombs during the Second World War and the Scottish architect, Sir Basil Spence was commissioned to redesign the bombed out shell of the cathedral.
He invited the firm of Gordon Russell Ltd in 1960 to design and produce the required 2000 individual chairs to fill the cathedral space.
Needless to say, the chair had to be strong and adaptable (used for church services as well as concerts & conferences etc) and of course made of English wood.
As such, they were designed so that six of theses chairs can be linked and locked together if need be, with a metal rod that passed through the specially made holes in the seat sides. Naturally, the chairs are also easily stackable.
These chairs proved extremely durable and popular and were also later adapted for use/made for other churches in both the UK and overseas.
These are beautifully engineered chairs, very comfortable and stylish, with a shaped back rail, tongued and grooved seat slats and exposed finger/combed joints; all very much in the Cotswold School and Arts & Crafts traditions.
Further comprehensive details/plans are on the Gordon Russell Museum website link:
Ref: Furniture Design Set Free by David Joel; plates 121/122
Furniture Design in Britain Today, 1964; plates 67-69
Austerity to Affluence, British Art & Design 1845-1962 pub 1997 in association with the Fine Art Society; exh F49
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