Nominated by: Greta Paa-Kerner
The furniture trade in High Wycombe today has its roots in the activities of the 19th century chairmakers who made High Wycombe the chair making capital of the world. The Windsor chair was the most famous product of the trade, one of several different styles of regional chairs, such as the ladder back, which developed in the 18th century to satisfy the market created by the labouring and artisan classes.
Between the years 1800 and 1860 the number of workshops in High Wycombe grew from a handful to 150 and by 1875 their total output had risen to an estimated number of 4700 chairs per day – a remarkable figure. The area in and around High Wycombe became the biggest producer of chairs in the country, and between 1851 and 1871 the population of High Wycombe borough and parish grew by 46 per cent – see Council website for source and more information.
Buckinghamshire New University is preserving High Wycombe’s furniture making heritage through a furniture archive that can be found online here.
The Windsor Chair was nominated by Greta Paa-Kerner, Head of Business Engagement, on behalf of Bucks New University.