Fine 18th and 19th Century Furniture, Paintings and Accessories
Lois Boyles & Richard Totoiu ~ 524 North Washington Street ~ Alexandria Va 22314 ~ 703-548-5188



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Directory: Antiques: Furnishings: Furniture: English: Georgian: Pre 1837 VR: Item # 1174451

Please refer to our stock # 10273 when inquiring.
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524 North Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

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A  REGENCY  MAHOGANY  METAMORPHIC  LIBRARY  CHAIR in  the  manner  of  Morgan  and  Sanders,  with  a  reeded  curved  tablet  top-rail,  reeded  scroll-arms, channelled sabre legs  and a caned seat  hinged at the front rail to form a set of library steps with tooled leather treads. Circa 1815

Chair: 23.75” wide x 26” deep x 36” tall
Steps: 23.75” wide x 43.5” long x 28.75” tall

Metamorphic library steps are a type of archaic dual-use furniture, consisting of a small folding staircase that can be transformed into a chair, table, bench or desk form. Tables, chairs and stools containing Library Steps were patented in Great Britain by Robert Campbell in 1774 but the chair-based design did not become popular until the second decade of the nineteenth century. It was during the first six months of the Regency that a neo-classical interpretation of Campbell’s idea, known as the Metamorphic Library Chair, first appeared in London. Attribution relies heavily on two nineteenth century sketches. The first illustration, by Rudolph Ackermann in 1811, shows a Morgan & Sanders chair and the second was drawn twenty-three years later for a Gillows estimate in 1834.

For a through examination of this type of chair, see “ The Regency Period Metamorphic Library Chair” by Clive Taylor