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Mid Century Conran Safari Style Chair for Dancer and Hearne

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Mid Century vintage Conran safari style chair with leather arms. C. 1964.

Designer: Terence Conran.

Manufacturer: Dancer & Hearne.

Materials: Beech frame, leather armrests, teal fabric.

Condition: Excellent. Professionally reupholstered in high quality and easy to maintain teal fabric. All upholstery meets current safety standards. Some very slight age-related marks to the frame, which do not detract from the overall appearance.

Details: Has the maker's mark for both Conran and Dancer & Hearne. The chair has Pirelli webbing to the underside - which has been professionally replaced. 

This chair, strongly influenced by European Mid Century design, can be considered a true example of British Mid Century design and manufacture history.

Manufactured by Dancer and Hearne, one of Britain's largest chair manufacturers in the early 20th Century, the chair was part of a range that Dancer and Hearne produced in the early 1960s in an attempt to compete in the burgeoning mass manufacturing market. In 1970, Dancer and Hearne was bought out by Parker Knoll and the factory closed soon after. This is one of the few examples on the market today of a Modernist design by a traditional bastion of UK manufacturing.

As part of the 1962 Dancer and Hearne rebrand, the company determined to diversify from contract furniture and create a more modern home furnishing offer. They commissioned a range of up and coming modern British designers in this effort, one of whom was Terence Conran who designed this chair.

By 1962 Terence Conran had already gained a reputation as the one of Britain's most influential and forward thinking designers with his own design practice, Conran Design Group, famous for the iconic Mary Quant stores. Conran had already had notable success with his Conran Furniture Summa range, launched in 1956, a radical new approach into affordable, flat pack, design-led furniture.

The similarity between the simple, light wood geometric box frame of this chair and the PU/A armchair accompanying the Summa range is evident. During this period, Conran was about to launch Habitat and was adapting the European influences of designers such as Kaare Klint and Gio Ponti. Indeed such influences are apparent here in the Kaare Klint influenced Safari chair style of the leather strap armrests and the light box frame design influence of Ponti's Superleggera chair. What is particularly interesting in this chair is the experimentation of these influences within one piece, with upholstered seat and back pad similar to Ebbe & Karen Clemmesen designs but not usually associated with the leather sling pads of the Safari chair.

Little catalogue evidence exists on this Dancer and Hearne range, making this a unique purchase, not just from a 20th Century design history point of view but also from the perspective of anyone interested in the Conran design and manufacture approach and its influence on British furniture production.

An extremely comfortable chair sympathetically reupholstered in Teal. This is a true gem of a find.



Free UK delivery: Up to 150 miles from Beverley, HU17.
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