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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sitting Still - Matthew Hilton's new Windsor chair collection, made by Ercol for De La Espada

Picture courtesy of De La Espada

I’ve fallen in love with this series of five new Windsor chairs by Matthew Hilton for De La Espada (launching at the Milan Salone in April). Even before I read the blurb I was reminded of a childhood school trip to the High Wycombe Chair Museum (yes, really). Turns out these chairs were manufactured by Ercol in High Wycombe. Sadly, Ercol are the last of the HW furniture makers, though it’s great that at least one firm is keeping the tradition alive and bringing it into the 21st Century.

I feel like the charms of these chairs speak for themselves. They’ve got such an honest simplicity about them,  if there's such a thing as a chair with integrity then this is it! I love the mix of the two timbers - walnut and ash,  the matt finish, the way they link modernism with traditional artisan design. I particularly love the higgledy-piggledy look of the five designs together and would buy them like this if I could – perhaps with a second one of the ‘armed’ designs so that they could go at either end of a six-seater table. And if were going to pick just one, I’d have to test drive them and just plump for the most comfortable.

*Matthew Hilton