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Brief description

'Modello 115' armchair made from stained beech with a rush seat, designed c.1962 by Vico Magistretti, imported by Terence Conran and retailed in Habitat c.1965-1975.


Modello 115

Object name


Object number



Room 11 (1990s Room)

Production person

Vico Magistretti (designer)
Terence Conran (importer)

Production organisation

Habitat (retailer)

Production date

c.1962 (designed)

Production place

London (retailed)


Twentieth century (1900-1999)





Physical description

This armchair has a red stained beech frame comprising a curved top rail and arm rests, raised on turned legs, with a drop-in rush seat. The seat also has a beech frame.


Height: 75cm
Width: 58cm
Depth: 51.5cm

Website keywords


Object history note

This chair was given by Lady Marina Vaizey, a London-based art critic and trustee of the Geffrye Museum, who was its original owner. Lady Vaizey purchased the chair from Habitat in the late 1960s/early 1970s. It is illustrated in House & Garden magazine, August 1962, page 31, and again in Ideal Home magazine in March 1962, page 70, where it is stated to be imported by Conran, although it does not specify whether it is retailed through Habitat, and is for sale at £10 10s. It was also advertised in House & Garden magazine, December 1964 at £12. Phillips Auctioneers, London have one in the catalogue for the sale Applied Arts (1860 to the present day) 23 July 1996, lot 115 which states it was bought by the vendor at Heal's in 1963. The dating of the object is based on these contemporary advertisements.


Adam Bowett, independent furniture historian, examined this object on 8 June 2009. He noted that the removable drop-in seat has a beech frame, and the chair frame is made from stained beech. A full transcript of notes from this examination is available in the object’s history file and as a digital asset.


Caption for Exploring 20th Century London website:

The Modello chair received a lot of coverage in home furnishing and life-style magazines in the 1960s and 1970s. It was designed in Italy by Vico Magistretti and was first imported into Britain by Terence Conran in about 1962 when it was featured in 'Ideal Home' magazine and was available through mail order. Conran set up the groundbreaking shop Habitat, which brought interesting and inexpensive modern design to the mass market, in 1964 in premises on Fulham Road. By 1968 he had four branches in London. This particular chair was purchased from one of those shops by a London art critic for use in her family home.

Label text for the exhibition At Home with the World, Geffrye Museum (20 March 2012- 9 September 2012):

‘Modello’ chair
Stained beech frame and rush seat

This chair was designed in the early 1960s by Italian Vico Magistretti. Soon after, it was imported to England by Terence Conran who is now famous as the founder of Habitat. Conran was important for spotting interesting design and bringing it to a wide range of the British public through his shops and mail order.
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