Garth Chester '1947 Nicholson Chapel' Chair

Garth Chester (1916–1968) is one of New Zealand's most important modernist furniture designers.

W 60cm, D 74cm, H 73cm | Seat H 39cm




Garth Chester is considered one of New Zealand’s most important modernist designers. His unique and highly inspired ‘Curvesse’ Chair of 1944 was the first one-piece cantilevered plywood chair to appear anywhere in the world. It is now included in the permanent collection of major New Zealand museums and held by serious International collectors of modern design.

Chester also designed a small number of other curved plywood chairs during the 1940s. The most well-known of these is the chair commissioned by architect LG Williams in 1947 for the Nicholson Funeral Chapel, Napier. For this design Chester again shows his mastery of curved plywood in the seat and generous arcs that form the armrests. This design also features subtle art deco references, which tie beautifully into Napier's history.

This chair is almost identical to the Nicholson Chapel chair but features a slight variation to the strut that crosses the base of the legs. Instead of one plank-like strut this design utilises two slightly more refined round struts. It’s a stunning and very rare design from one of New Zealand’s most celebrated early industrial designers.

NOTE: All items from the New Zealand Modern Collection will stay on view in the gallery until the end of Saturday, October 3


Materials: Beautifully crafted from moulded plywood

Wood Finish: Original condition, light character aging as pictured

Style this with more great design