History of Howard and Sons

A History of Howard and Sons

Research with kind courtesy of Paul Shutler

The name of Howard and Sons is probably one of the best known and highly sought after names in Upholstered furniture. Over the next few paragraphs I will do my best to give you a brief history of the company.

The company was started by John Howard in 1820 trading from 24 Leman St, London as a Cabinet Maker. Over the next 25 years they would make several changes of premises within the Whitechapel area. First to 27 Great Alie St (Now just Alie St) before moving a short distance to 34 Great Alie St.

In 1844 the company made its first venture into upholstered furniture by opening a showroom/workshop at 36 Red lion St. This was also to be a big move towards what would be their next and most famous location.

In 1848 they moved to a new address much more accustomed with the name; Berners St. London as “Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and Decorator” under the name John Howard and Sons. The business seemed to boom at this location with workshops opening up at Tottenham St, Charlotte Mews and Fitzroy Sq and an expansion to a second Berners St building in 1853.

In 1869 the company consolidated its many workshops into the one building on Cleveland St. By 1872 the company was occupying 25, 26 and 27 Berners St. These adresses would remain unchanged until 1935. During this period they became a limited company in 1899 and won the first of their Royal warrants in 1901.

In 1935 the the well established decorators Lenygon and Morant appear to take over the name with the business address being given as 31 Old Burlington St (Lenygon and Morants premesis since 1909). Lenygon and Morant later moved to South Audley St where from 1954 they advertised as 'Makers of Howard Chairs and Sofas'.

In 1967 the owners of Lenygon and Morant open Howard Chairs Limited, the company operating from Lyme St continue to make high quality sofas and armchairs.


Exhibitions and Important Houses:

At the 1862 International Exhibition (The 3rd World Expo) Howard and Sons entered a suite of library furniture for which they won a prize. (image 1 shows a part of this suite) They also went on to exhibit at the Paris World's Fair, called an Exposition Universelle twice; once in 1878 and again in 1900. Also at the Exposition Internationale d'Anvers 1894 (International Exposition/World Fair Antwerp). Winning Prizes at them all including 1 silver and 2 golds.

They also employed their eclectic styles working for many important clients providing furniture for important houses such as Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, Elton Hall, Huntingdonshire and Stokesay Court, Shropshire.

image 1

Howard exhibition item


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