The Frederick Parker Collection

From left to right: a tool chest, a portrait of Frederick Parker and a chair from the Collection

The Frederick Parker Collection is a unique and outstanding collection of almost 200 British chairs, ranging in date from 1660 to the present day. The collection also includes a substantial archive of related historical documents, artefacts and some company information covering the period 1880 to 2001.

Frederick Parker & Sons Ltd was first established in 1871. The firm’s output of high quality, hand-made furniture, was supported by the establishment of a collection of chairs, from earlier periods, from which the firm’s craftsmen could take inspiration and learn the techniques of the past. A growing reputation for excellence during the first half of the twentieth century brought the firm contracts to supply furniture for ocean liners such as Cunard’s RMS Aquitania and the P&O liner, HMS Ophir.

In the 1930s following a collaboration with Willi Knoll, a German furniture designer who had invented a tension suspension system for chairs, the family business was renamed and rebranded as Parker Knoll. Designs marketed as ‘Parker Knoll’ were produced alongside the more traditional furniture and the famous Parker Knoll recliner chair, regularly updated and refined, has become a highly successful, quality product which is firmly established as a staple of British furniture excellence.

The Frederick Parker Collection is owned by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers (now known as The Furniture Makers) one of the livery companies of the City of London, and has been on long-term loan to London Metropolitan University since 2002.

To search the Chair Collection, please go to the online catalogue, which is hosted by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.

The Frederick Parker business archive can now be searched on our online catalogue.

A small selection of digitised items from the Archive:


Promotional Material

Leaflets, brochures and booklets created by Parker Knoll with information on available product ranges and prices:

Late 19th Century

Early 20th Century






Early 21st Century




To make an enquiry about the contents of the Collection, using it or to book a visit please contact us at Tel: 020 7320 3516

chat loading...