1960's Race Flexible Chair Nicholas Frewing


+44 (0)1256 760044

+44 (0)776 9671111



  • £1,950.00
  • €2,304 Euro
  • $2,675 US Dollar

United Kingdom

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

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"1960's Flexible Chair - Arm Chair - Nicholas Frewing - Race Furniture. This is a very rare semi-upholstered occasional chair with nylon-coated steel mesh seat and back which hook into the laminated beech frame without screws or tools. Aniline-dyed leather arms have a webbing insert to prevent stretching. The Race Flexible chair was developed by Nicholas Frewing at the Royal College of Art as a research project into ways of reducing the bulk and weight of the traditional chair, in which the rigid frame is not only heavy in itself but needs a great deal of upholstery to make it comfortable. Frewing decided that one way to overcome this was to develop a light, flexible frame and joints which would themselves give much of the springiness usually provided by the upholstery. The result is an entirely new method of constructing chair frames. The Flexible chair has many advantages. It is light (two polyether-filled cushions are the only upholstery needed) and portable. It will automatically adjust itself to any unevenness in the floor. It can easily be taken to pieces and re-erected, and can therefore be carried in the boot of a car or even stowed away in a cupboard when not needed. And it can be packed into a small carton. Frewing began work on the chair in 1961 and presented it as a finished design to Race Furniture Ltd in 1964. He chose this particular manufacturer because ""they are not afraid of using wood and metal together and because this chair needs a high degree of skill and care in its manufacture"". Race accepted the chair immediately ""because this was the most interesting design we had seen for years"". The company Race Furniture Ltd was started after the war by J. W. Noel Jordan and the late Ernest Race, and soon earned itself a name for pioneering good modern designs in an industry which was almost entirely traditional. The designer Nicholas Frewing began work on the Flexible chair after completing three years as a student in the furniture design school at the RCA, before going on to be a full time tutor._x000D_
The two side frames of the chair are held together by the welded steel rod seat and back. Hooks at the corners of the seat and back slip over rods inserted into slots in the wooden frame, above left. Simple ties hold the cushions in place. The chair can be assembled in about two minutes and has been recently reupholstered by Race Furniture. Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design and the Design Centre Awards 1966. Chair comes with Race archive photographs and instructions."

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: 67cm (26.38in)
  • W: 62cm (24.41in)
  • D: 63cm (24.80in)



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

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