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Howard & Sons

Howard & Sons were established in 1820 by John Howard and the family business became an iconic name in Victorian England. Their beautiful pieces are still recognised as leading examples of upholstered furniture today have inspired many bespoke copies.

John Howard began trading at 24 Lemon Street, London, as a 'cabinet manufacturer'. He stayed at 24 Lemon Street for a duration of nine years before moving to another premises. Then later in 1832, he moved again to 34 Great Alie Street where he would stay and open an upholstery workshop at 36 Red Lion Street until 1845.

Eventually, John Howard and Sons started trading at 22 Berners Street as 'cabinet maker, upholsterer and decorator' in 1848 and would then go on to expand into 26 Berners Street.

In 1866, a young George Howard patented something that would secure his family's company in the history books. He patented the 'elastic seat'. His patent totally re-designed the inside workings of traditional English upholstery, creating the superior seat, which is now widely known for.

Howard & Sons would make identification easier by marking their work. Cabinet work would either have paper labels, stamps or ivorine labels. Upholstered furniture would have either a name or number stamp on the inside of the back foot, castor cup or wheel. The content on the stamp varies depending on the date of the piece.

A worthy investment; Howard pieces perform consistently well on the market. Their value goes up year by year as their luxury and rarity have increased over time. Acquiring a Howard armchair is always a good investment, should reupholstery be necessary, you have the freedom to choose a fabric that suits your taste/style.

Many companies offer bespoke reproductions of Howards & Sons pieces. The Howard & Sons name has resonated throughout the interior design industry/community since its creation, with designers choosing their pieces to elevate a diverse range of interiors.

On offer in our next Fine Interiors online auction, a star lot to look out for - lot 485 Howard And Sons Bridgewater Armchair (11/4/21) 

Lot 485, Howard And Sons Bridgewater Armchair. Stamped 'Howard Chairs, 48 Sth Audley St London W.1 2385’, 85cm H, 80cm x 90cm, together with a Howard and Sons footstool, stamped ‘Howard Chairs, 48 Sth Audley St London W.1 2246’, footstool retaining part of the original H&S ticking, 40cm H x 55cm x 55cm. (2) 

Estimate £1000 - £2000

We hope you will join us on the 11th of April for our next Fine Interiors auction.

- Joshua Wright

Lot 485 (11/4/21)

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