About Parker Knoll Chairs
Parker Knoll is a British manufacturer of fine furniture formed by Frederick Parker and Willi Knoll. Londoner Parker started as an apprentice in his father's furniture factory, then set up in business making chairs by hand. He moved to High Wycombe in 1898, and was involved in making high-quality furniture for luxury ocean liners. He made a point of learning from other furniture makers, and his collection of books and chairs is now on display at the London Metropolitan University creative industries centre.
Knoll was working in Stuttgart on his own invention for tension-sprung seats. In 1929 he came to the UK to find a manufacturer for his patented chair technology, and Parker Knoll was formed in 1931. Their comfortable chairs were a hit, earning them large commissions including the BBC's Broadcasting House and the RMS Queen Mary, and they were soon building a new factory.
The company has always continued to innovate and to refine chair technology. Parker Knoll recliners would become their signature item in the 1960s, but many styles of Parker Knoll chairs were made. The company was acquired by Sofa Brands International in 2005, and manufacturing was moved Riddings in Derbyshire.
Genuine Parker Knoll chairs are clearly marked with the Parker Knoll name and trademarks and a specific Model No, and sometimes the date of manufacture as well. Because of the timeless appeal of their fine design, vintage Parker Knoll armchairs and recliners are often purchased to be reupholstered, so some may be offered for sale as 'upcycled'. Some classic models include the Norton, Verona, Penshurst, Froxfield and Frith.