Arthur Simpson of Kendal oak stool with leather top


Antiques Reference 2297

Arthur Simpson of Kendal oak stool with leather top




Arthur Simpson of Kendal Arts and Crafts Oak stool with woven leather top. The leather pieces are hammered in using brass studs. Arthur Simson the Handicrafts label and registered no. 695391 and numbered 7862 to the wood. Excellent original condition with no repairs. A decorative and useful piece .


The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. The movement had an “extraordinary flowering” in Scotland where it was represented by the development of the ‘Glasgow Style’ which was based on the talent of the Glasgow School of Art. Structured more by a set of ideals than a prescriptive style, the Movement took its name from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, a group founded in London in 1887 that had as its first president the artist and book illustrator Walter Crane. The Society’s chief aim was to assert a new public relevance for the work of decorative artists (historically they had been given far less exposure than the work of painters and sculptors).

Arthur William Simpson, known as A W Simpson (and often simply AWS) was born in Highgate, Kendal in 1857. Simpson founded the firm of wood craftsmen, A W Simpson and was a member of the Kendal meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. After an apprenticeship with Gillow and Company of Lancaster, he worked as a journeyman craftsman before opening a workshop in Kendal.
A W Simpson’s workshop was initially on Finkle St, but after various moves settled at the Waterside along the River Kent. Specialising in traditional wood furniture for domestic and ecclesiastical commissions, a studio was available to view furniture and work by other craftworkers. The A W Simpson workshop became known as The Handicrafts in 1906.
During his lifetime Simpson was a teacher, lecturer and speaker, teaching evening classes and classes at his summer studio at Gill Head, near Bowness. He organised Arts and Crafts exhibitions showcasing the work of the area including the Arts, Crafts and Loans Exhibition held in Kendal in 1891.
Hubert Simpson was the eldest son of A W Simpson and was apprenticed to his father at the workshop. Hubert took over his father’s business from 1921 onwards. Commissions for domestic and ecclesiastical work continued, and Simpson brought in innovations to the workshop such as a circular saw and machinery. However, commissions became increasingly hard to come by and during the Second World War Simpson found work elsewhere and by 1952 had to sell the premises and stock of The Handicrafts.
From 1923 he exhibited and worked with the Red Rose Guild of Artworkers and exhibited annually in Manchester.

Date c 1910

Condition Excellent original condition

Dimensions Approximate height 30 cm width 40 cm and depth 30 cm

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