The dying art of making Grantham Windsor chairs

5th August 2014

Roll back the years to the 18th and 19th Centuries and Grantham was an industrious hive of activity for chair and cabinet makers including John Amos, Thomas Camm, John Hubbard, William Dolby, John Taylor, to name just a few.

Centred on the Little Gonerby and Manthorpe Road area, a cottage industry evolved devoted to crafting beautiful pieces of woodwork including the Windsor chair. Made in a variety of styles from the comb back to the sack back, each region has its own unique and distinctive differences.

"A low-back Windsor chair came in to the saleroom recently and I knew straight away by the style it had been crafted locally." Said Andrew Doubleday from Grantham Auctioneers Golding Young. "Every region had slight differences in style. Then when I saw AMOS stamped on the chair I knew without a doubt it was from John Amos of Grantham. It was lovely to see such a rare piece by a Grantham craftsman appear in the saleroom."

Lot 2753 Amos Chair

Fast forward in time and sadly the large community of craftsmen dwindled and the cottage industry ran its course; the wealth of creative skill shown from our local craftsman was lost. Today our talented Grantham craftsmen dwell in the burial ground on Manthorpe Road, a stone's throw away from where they lived and worked.

"The rustic work of Amos and his fellow craftsmen are still around today, but unless we take steps we will see less and less of them available for future generations to enjoy." Said Doubleday. "Whose furniture will we see in the saleroom in the next 150 years' time? Unless we encourage more of our youth to explore their craftsmen skills using traditional woodworking techniques, we are doomed to a life of mass produced, flat packed furniture without soul or character."

The John Amos of Grantham Windsor Chair will be offered for auction on 3 September at The Grantham Auction Rooms where the 150th Anniversary sale is due to take place from 10.00am.

If you would like to preview the John Amos of Grantham Windsor Chair beforehand, it will be available for viewing on 30th, 31st August and 1st September at The Grantham Auction Rooms between 10am and 4pm.

If you would like further information, please contact our team at The Grantham Auction Rooms on 01476 565118 and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have or view the full sale catalogue online.

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