Joan's chair, 1901

Joan’s chair, Heal & Son, 1901
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This chair is an important piece of Arts and Crafts furniture,  commissioned by John Henry Angus for his youngest child, Joan Drummond Angus. Joan was born in 1896, the youngest of 10 children, and was given the chair when she was 5 years old. She died of tuberculosis seven years later in 1908, aged 12.

The chair was designed by Ambrose Heal and made by the fashionable London store Heal & Son in 1901. It is made of oak and the back is decorated with inlay work. The chair’s high back allows the inlaid wood pattern to be visible even when a child is sitting on it. The pattern is believed to have been designed by Christine Angus, sister to Joan and wife of the artist Walter Sickert.