Historic chairs go on display in Aldgate

Selected pieces from the Frederick Parker Collection are now on show at London Met.

Date: 22 September 2016

One of the world’s finest collections of historic chairs has gone on display at London Metropolitan University.

A range of chairs from the renowned Frederick Parker Collection, which includes furniture from the last 300 years, is on display at the University’s Old Castle Street, in Aldgate.    

The Collection and its associated archive is owned by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, and has been on long term loan to London Met – itself famous for its furniture making courses – since 2002.

Dr John Cross, the Curator of the Collection, worked with archivists Peter Fisher and Louise Slater along with Jo Sovin, Project Manager of the Frederick Parker Collection Archive, to display the chairs in the inspiring Old Castle Street building in East London. 

London Met archivist Louise Slater said: “It was hot work putting the display together on what turned out to be one of the warmest September days on record!

“The panes of glass on the front of the cabinet are as tall as the entire case and weigh a quarter of a ton each, so they had to be slid open with great care and precision, with one person on the ground and the other at the top of the tower using special suction devices.

“Fantastic support was provided by Derek and Vedi from CBRE, who stayed the entire day, patiently opening, closing, re-opening and re-closing the display case as positioning changed.”

The chairs are now on permenant display, and people are welcome to come and see the beautiful craftsmanship for themselves. 

The Frederick Parker Collection is a unique and outstanding educational resource spanning over 300 years of British furniture making and design, from 1660 to the present day.

The Collection comprises over 200 chairs, together with an archive of related historical documents and artefacts. The Collection was established by Frederick Parker (1845-1927) who together with four of his sons, had set up a furniture and upholstery business in 1871.

Interested in furniture making or design? Find out more at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design


Image (L-R): Peter Fisher, Dr John Cross, Louise Slater, Jo Sovin, and Derek McLaughlin and Vedi Pershad from CBRE, London Met's maintenance contractors.