Auction Results

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
JOHN MAKEPEACE (B. 1939)
This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal.… Read more
JOHN MAKEPEACE (B. 1939)

A RARE 'MILLENNIUM 3' CHAIR, 1989

Details
JOHN MAKEPEACE (B. 1939)
A rare 'Millennium 3' chair, 1989
stack-laminated holly, leather
executed by Alan Amey, Parnham House workshops, Dorset, UK, from the production of two in holly
42 x 32 x 21 ½ in. (107 x 81 x 54.5 cm.)
underside with plastic label printed THE/WORSHIPFUL/COMPANY OF/FURNITURE/MAKERS/GUILD MARK/No. 106/Date 30/6/89
Provenance
Frances and Sydney Lewis Collection, Richmond, Virginia, acquired directly from John Makepeace, 1990;
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Literature
Other examples illustrated:
John Makepeace, sales catalogue, 1991, p. 5;
J. Myerson, Makepeace, A Spirit of Adventure in Craft & Design, London, 1995, p. 119;
L. Jackson, Modern British Furniture, Design since 1945, London, 2013, p. 192, fig. 200;
A. Bowett, 100 British Chairs, London, 2015. p. 134, no. 100.
Special notice

This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

Brought to you by

Jeremy Morrison
Jeremy Morrison

Lot Essay


The companion example of the present 'Millennium' chair is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.

Christie's would like to thank John Makepeace for his assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.


"The story of the Millennium Chair may be of interest. Two rosewood chairs were originally commissioned by a client in the UK. Making the jigs for the various three-dimensional components was a highly skilled and time-consuming stage. To assist in recovering the cost, I asked the client if he would agree to my making a second pair of chairs in a very distinctive wood; we agreed on holly, on condition that he had the choice of which pair to have when they were complete. The rosewood pair was finished first, and a visitor saw them and offered a substantial figure for them if I could persuade the client to have the holly ones. In the event, the client stayed with his preference for rosewood, and the holly pair were exhibited in America soon after. The curators for the Arts Institute of Chicago and the Lewis collection saw them and asked if I would agree to the pair being split, one for Chicago and the second to go into the Lewis Collection in Richmond.

So there are a total of four chairs, two in Indian rosewood, and two in English holly. As far as I know, they are the only holly wood chairs in the world. Holly rarely grows large enough and this tree was quite exceptional. I had it cut into 1mm thick veneers which were then rejoined into the curved components for the back. The fact that no glue lines are visible in such a pale wood is testament to the quality of the making despite the fact hat there were up to 40 layers in the larger sections.

Chairs are of particular interest to me in that they reflect the human form. Whereas most chairs are uncomfortable because they fail to provide support in the right places, I have over the years made many individual chairs that are both inventive in structure and respond to the needs of the body. It is too commonly claimed that chairs cannot suit everybody; to my mind, variations of height can be perfectly accommodated by the subtle angles and curvatures."

John Makepeace OBE., August 2019

More from Design

View All
View All