Howard & Sons antique seating
John Howard started making furniture around 1820 and later was joined by his son George in 1830. Howard and Sons invented "modern" techniques and innovative frame designs which are still copied by furniture makers today.
Based at their famous Berners Street headquarters in London between 1847 and 1935, Howard and Sons became the leading light of English furniture makers, their furniture adorning the drawing rooms of some of the finest country houses in England, receiving the Royal Warrant in 1901. Queen Elizabeth II is reputed to own a large collection of Howards.
The quality of Howard and Sons frames, upholstery materials and workmanship was so good, that even after a hundred plus years of use, their sofas and chairs often only require minimal maintenance and maybe just a change of fabric.
Traditional high quality seating improves with age because the horsehair takes our body form and springs soften and the jute products relax, creating that unmistakable ‘caught and held’ feeling when you sit back and relax into ‘a cloud of comfort’.
All Howards are stamped on the back leg and castors, with later items also bearing a fabric label to the base, and were originally covered in H&S monogrammed ticking.
The Howard and Sons iconic blue and cream ticking, as seen in older items, was originally two tone green but the inks used faded to blue. The single tone green and white is seen in later years, especially with modern reincarnations of the brand.
The distinctive Howards and Sons "turned leg" got slimmer over time and eventually became a modern, tapered, plain leg, which has held its appeal.
John and George Howard were understated as designers, however, it’s now impossible to overstate their influence on modern seating.
John and George were the pioneers of relaxed seating as people moved out of drawing rooms and into the lounge.
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Marcus Spencer. May 2021