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Object ID # 1965.002.003
Object Name Armchair
Title One of Miss Macphail's Chairs
Lexicon category 2: Building Furnishings
Date Pre-1940s
Artist Imperial Rattan Company
Made Imperial Rattan Co. Limited
Place of Origin Stratford, Ontario
Description This blue-cushioned wicker armchair. The chair's headrest is rounded at the top. The chair as a whole has sustained some wear and tear. The oval-shaped, metal maker's label of the chair can be found on the lower rear of the chair: " IMPERIAL / RATTAN COMPANY. / LIMITED / STRATFORD". One of the armrests contains a hole. The two wooden front legs are turned ones, with a somewhat rounded foot, and have a brown finish on them. The blue, diamond-patterned upholstery has a front apron above the two front legs.
Makers mark The metal, oval-shaped maker's label of the chair can be found on the lower rear of the chair: " IMPERIAL / RATTAN COMPANY / LIMITED / STRATFORD"
Provenance Made in Stratford, Ontario by the Imperial Rattan Co. The set belonged to Miss Agnes Campbell Macphail (1890-1954), who was Canada's first female Member of Parliament, beginning in 1921. She had this wicker set when she worked and resided in Ottawa.

This item, and its matching chair and couch, were sent to Grey County from Ottawa when they were in jeopardy of being burned, as no one wanted the pieces there anymore. They were at the Grey County Administration building c.1965 before they joined the museum collection.

As Macphail lost her federal riding during the Second World War, she likely obtained the set in the 1920s or 1930s? The Imperial Rattan Co. was producing aircraft bomber spars and wing parts during the Second World War, but then continued furniture making into the 1950s afterwards.

Macphail had a family connection to Stratford, as she had an aunt and uncle who lived there, and that is the town where she finished her highschool education when she left the Owen Sound Collegiate Institute. It is also where she attended the Stratford Normal School to get her teacher's training.
Collection Furniture, 20th-c Collection
Material Wood/Fabric/Finish/Metal/Thread/Dye
Dimensions H-35.039 W-29 D-27 inches
Found Ottawa, Ontario
People Macphail, Agnes