Provenance and Background Info
Written in 2012. This set of 8 chairs sold immediately for $1650 for all 8 (in 2012).
A set of EIGHT sculptural dining chairs- I believe they were done by Edward Hill and Co. About 5 years ago I came across something online that positively identified this design as being produced by Edward Hill and Co. I am basically certain my memory hasn’t failed me with these. The quality of these chairs is exceptional- way beyond that of virtually any dining chair ever produced in Australia. Edward Hill and Co is relatively unknown but this is only because their work is so rare. The extent of the workmanship involved in their pieces means that production numbers were small and prices when they were first sold were very high. The work of this furniture manufacturer however will never be forgotten. A 66-page book, entitled, “Fit for Royalty: The History of Edward Hill & Co. Furniture 1917-1964” was released fairly recently. The Powerhouse Museum has also acquired some of the work of Edward Hill which show “adherence to the principles of sound, honest construction, quality materials and workmanship and functional design in a simple, elegant style.” These are the words of the Powerhouse Museum not mine. Unfortunately there are no photos of the work the Powerhouse acquired but it was work produced in 1960-1961 and designed by Fred Ward for the University of Sydney Club. I believe the set of dining chairs on offer here were produced around the same time. The style is distinctly early 1960’s but the timber is actually more like what was used in the 1950’s. I am not certain what the timber used is (it is very rarely seen) but I’ve seen it in an Edward Hill sideboard I sold back in 2006. (That sideboard was certainly 1950’s.)
Edward Hill produced much of Fred Ward’s designs back in the 1960’s- I believe these were designed by Fred Ward but I’m not certain. Fred Ward had an illustrious career in furniture design and was awarded a M.B.E in 1970. I will add again that I may be wrong in my identification of these chairs but I doubt it. I bought these in Sydney and Edward Hill operated in Sydney.
History aside these chairs are “fit for royalty” (not my words again). What I love most about them is the honest workmanship that frankly is exceptional (Parker dining chairs do not come close to these and Parker chairs are brilliant in quality). These chairs have been built to last and as far as durability is concerned you will not buy a dining chair with this Danish styling that is built better. All these chairs are in solid sturdy condition after 50+ years of use. The rounded edges and curves are stunning- these chairs have taken many hours to create (predominantly BY HAND). They’re also a comfortable chair. The angles are brilliant for comfort and they hit your back in the right spot. Most people would find the comfort pleasing- they are not exceptionally comfortable but still a nice chair to sit in.
Sets of eight dining chairs in this style are almost impossible to find. I’ve had two sets in the 12 years I’ve been trading. Taking into consideration the extent of the workmanship shown in these chairs, I believe they’re easily worth $500 EACH. They are parallel in quality to any Danish dining chair and the best Danish dining chairs fetch around $1000-$1200 PER CHAIR. Parker chairs with the oval teak backs are currently getting $450 each in retail shops- these are better than those chairs (and there’s also EIGHT). They’re priced to sell. This vintage set of dining chairs (made BY HAND) have been telling stories for 50+ years and are bound to continue telling stories for generations. There are very few better ways to invest in your home and our environment. (THE FINAL PHOTO IS NOT THE SUITE FOR SALE. I SOLD THAT SUITE BACK IN 2006. It has been included to show what the chairs could look like set up as a suite. The table in that photo is a Parker teak table from the 1960’s which are not too hard to find- I don’t have any in stock at this point but keep following my store.)