Guy Rogers of Liverpool makers of stylish 1960s sofas and chairs
Guy Rogers were probably the largest and best known makers of contemporary upholstered furniture in the 1960s . We’ve been searching for any of their catalogues for a few years now , and hadn’t seen any come up for sale . Then within a few days I was sent photos of a 1967 catalogue and was then offered a collection of brochures by various makers which included a 1961 catalogue ! Both with prices , which is always a bonus . We’ve also found photos in a 1963 trade publication of a rare model that was only made for a short time , and doesn’t appear in the 1967 catalogue .
Original catalogues can be very informative and can also prove certain stories to be untrue ! The most common myth about Guy Rogers is that they made some commonly seen teak magazine racks which are often now described on Ebay as being by them . One model is definitely by Fyne Ladye of Banbury as I found it shown in the trade publication , the other is possibly also by them , or if not by another maker . If Guy Rogers had made magazine racks as accessories they would be shown in the catalogues as they do show some coffee tables that were designed to match their suites . Probably people will have bought these magazine racks at the same time as they bought a sofa or armchairs , and then somehow the name has got attached to the magazine rack also !
The other myth I’ve seen about Guy Rogers regards the Frisco Bay models . One seller claimed that they were only sold for a couple of years by Heals of London . However the full range is shown as a new model in the 1961 catalogue , and was still illustrated in the 1967 one . If they were shown in both catalogues they would have been available from any of the quality retailers up and down the country that sold Guy Rogers pieces . The reason the Frisco Bay models are so rare today is that they were the most expensive of the models that they made . Today we forget that there wasn’t as much money around in the 1960s , credit wasn’t so freely available so price was a big factor in what people could afford . Pieces costing only 20% more could easily reduce the size of the market for furniture , whereas today it would make little difference .
The most commonly seen Guy Rogers model today is the slightly conservative and British looking Manhattan models . In 1961 the low back adjustable chair cost from £18 1shilling and 6pence , and by 1967 that had risen to £24 17shillings and 6pence , about £410 and £450 respectively taking inflation into account . The small adjustable footstool that was designed to go with it would have cost you £6 7shillings and 6d in 1961 . An expensive extra at the time , so quite hard to find today .
Guy Rogers employed a “design team ” of George Fejer MSIA FRSA and Eric Pamphilon . They also had an “exclusive fabric consultant ” Margaret Leischner who designed some fabrics for them as well as sourcing fabrics from the US , Europe and the UK . Typical fabrics that will often be seen on vintage Guy Rogers pieces from the 1960s are hand woven Harris and Donegal Tweeds . As usual if any body can give me any information about the history of Guy Rogers or the designers they used that would be gratefully received .