1950's Ernest Antelope Curated Exhibition Chair


+44 (0)1256 760044

+44 (0)776 9671111



  • £750.00
  • €886 Euro
  • $1,029 US Dollar

United Kingdom

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2018
Contact dealer Delivery quote Similar item? Stock request

  • Description
  • Location
  • About dealer
This is a display and conversation piece for the discerning collector, with an extraordinary patina that cannot be bought, but only comes from decades of weathering – reflecting the facts of life for an outside chair from the 1951 Festival of Britain. An Original Ernest Race Antelope Chair. Sourced in the UK from a published design specialist this chair was discovered and selected as the centre piece for a planned exhibition at the Chelsea Arts College which was curated by a historian who worked for Race. The chair is an early surviving 1950's version, with original ball brass feet. The original ply seat has been weathered beyond use and makes a fascinating conversation piece. Ernest Race is regarded as Britain’s most brilliant post-war designer but sadly died quite young. His best-known designs are the BA3 aluminium chair of 1945 and the Antelope, designed for the Festival of Britain in 1951.The BA3 won a gold medal at the 10th Milan Trienale in 1954, where the Antelope also won a silver medal. He was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1953.The Antelope chair was designed for the 1951 Festival of Britain terraces. Race had previously worked with engineer J. W. Noel Jordan on furniture for the Utility Scheme during the Second World War. With wood rationed, they created designs with materials that were widely available namely aluminium and steel rods which were widely used in war manufacturing. As recognition for his work on the Utility Furniture scheme during the Second World War, Race was chosen to design the furniture for the prestigious Festival Hall event.

The Antelope bench and chair ( in the V&A’s collection) incorporated atomic era imagery, as can be seen in the balled feet, evocative of atoms, with a curving top rail reminiscent of the cartoonish style of the graphic illustrators of the 1940s and 1950s. These features reflected the Festival of Britain's ambition to inspire grey, post-war Britain and was a huge turning point in modernism. The use of steel rods was a first, and reflected the interest in the machine age aesthetic that had developed from pre-war Modernism. The Antelope chair won a silver medal at the Salone di Milano International Furniture Fair, 1955, and is still in production to this date by Race Furniture. This model is an early 1950's original chair. Seat height: 46cm

Our workshop team inspect every product and carry out any needed repairs to ensure that everything leaves us serviced and maintained ready for many more years of life. All of our vintage products show the rich beauty and history of their life with the knocks and bumps of many years of use and we try to minimise restoration to keep every piece as original as possible.


  • H: 79cm (31.10in)
  • W: 52cm (20.47in)
  • D: 46cm (18.11in)



Contact Us


By phone: +44 (0)1256 760044

Mobile: +44 (0)776 9671111


By Appointment
RG27, UK
United Kingdom


The team at Merchant & Found have been involved in cutting edge design and vintage for over twenty years working for brands such as Habitat, The Conran Shop and Pedlars amongst others and we have been privileged to work with some of the best designers in the world. We source 'must have' finds throughout Europe specialising in mainly Twentieth Century furniture, lighthing and object, but always on the lookout for the unusual and pioneering the new looks. Over the years special finds have been spotted in all the best interiors magazines, and today the business is a thriving online hub selling to vintage aficionados all over the world.

The DNA of what we stand for is pretty simple. We have been immersed in ‘home’ for many years and ultimately our Merchant and Found compass is guided by a few simple beliefs.

Vintage. It has been gathering momentum for many years and we are true believers. If a piece has been made well designed and well made, then yes it’s great to have  it new but it can be even better to have it old, an old piece has soul, it has the scars of life and can tell so many stories. We particularly look for pieces with an industrial heritage, mostly 20th century, built to last, by makers who are either still going or have sadly stopped producing. Britain and Europe has a rich heritage of industrial vintage and we want to bring it alive. Where we know the maker we will let you know, we spend a lot of time researching and hope we can pass that knowledge on. We keep a running list of brands we love, both old and new, in our ‘brands’ section.

New. We have spent a lifetime working with some of the worlds great home brands and we are slowly and surely partnering with the ones we believe offer that something special. They have a history of timeless design, a quality of product and a way of doing business. We love combining old and new and as we find our feet and our business grows we will introduce more new to complement the old. A vintage table looks amazing with the right new contemporary chairs. A bold contemporary table can be softened with vintage chairs.

Design. We have a deep love of Design. We respect the old and love the new. We love contemporary design but try to see beyond what is on trend and prefer what will be here in years to come. Historical design gives us a huge head start in this respect, the designs that survive and flourish are timeless, beautifully made, fit for purpose and above all great to look at.  They have soul.

Editors.  From all of the above you could say we are editors.  At Merchant & Found we are bringing you our vision of products that we love to live with, to use every day, to bring pleasure in daily life.

We have been unashamedly selfish in selecting what we love.  Architects believe (quite rightly) that a well designed space can enrich the experience of those that use their buildings, more often without even realising it. The proportions of a room, the use of light and space all fundamentally influence our enjoyment. We believe that the furniture and objects you use everyday do the same, they are part of your DNA and chosen well, should enrich your every day life.

Lastly, we take care to service (not restore) what we sell. Everything comes to you ready for it's next chapter.

We have a warehouse and workshop in Hook, Hampshire, you are always very welcome to visit but please just check with us that we are in.

Paul Middlemiss and the team at Merchant & Found

Click here to view M&F shipping information.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Instagram

We use cookies to help make this website better. Find out more about cookies.