Guy Rogers of Liverpool makers of stylish 1960s sofas and chairs

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 .