The Frederick Parker Collection

About the collection
and archive

The Frederick Parker Chair Collection and Archive together form one of the most complete records of furniture making in Britain over a period of some 150 years. It is an outstanding resource for students of furniture history and design and may be visited by appointment at London Metropolitan University.

The Collection

The Frederick Parker Chair Collection comprises around 200 chairs, almost all made in Britain over the past 350 years. The earliest is an oak framed chair with a leather covered seat and back, made in about 1660 and the latest is the Femur Stool, designed by Assa Ashuach in 2013 based on human bone structure and made as a prototype by 3D printing.


Most of the chair collection was formed in the early decades of the 20th century, by Frederick Parker and Sons (see below, A Brief History of Frederick Parker and Parker Knoll). This was a time when antique styles were popular and Parkers bought antiques in order to copy or adapt them as reproductions, less expensive than antiques and better suited to daily use. Most of the chairs collected by the Parkers date from between 1660 and 1830, and include Queen Anne, Georgian and Regency styles.


Many of the antique chairs acquired by the Parkers had already been altered or restored, and some were fakes created by the antiques trade to deceive customers, including the Parkers on occasion. Others were in more or less original condition, and a few even had their original upholstery, and are now especially rare. The Parker Collection grew to over 300 chairs, as well as hundreds of chair parts and plaster casts of mouldings and carvings.

The Frederick Parker and Parker Knoll Archive

A Brief History of Frederick Parker and Parker Knoll

The Chair Collection