12 Apr 2021
July 5, 2012 - Filed under: Arts and Crafts — Mandy

Romney Green was an English Arts & Crafts furniture designer; a contemporary of the Cotswold School, which flourished in the early 20th century and led to the Modernist movement. Green’s antique dining tables , chairs and cabinets are prized for their craftsmanship and elegant, simple lines. They can be found in many antique dealers specialising in Arts & Crafts furniture, adding the same touch of class to modern homes as they did those of the 1920s.

Romney Green was at the hub of the 20th century Arts and Crafts movement, helping to bring the Cotswold style to a wider audience. He began his furniture-making career in Haslemere, Surrey, in 1904, after visiting the workshops of Ernest Gimson at Sapperton and being inspired to create original designs in the same idiom.

He later moved to Christchurch, Hampshire, where he was joined by three other influential young designers – Eric Sharpe, Stanley W Davies and Robin Nance. Under his tutorship they went on to have successful careers of their own. Nance settled in St Ives, Cornwall, while Eric Sharpe opened a workshop in nearby Martyr Worthy. Stanley Davies was responsible for taking the Cotswolds movement to Cumbria.

Numerous links were forged between Green, Gimson and the Barnsley Brothers, which helped promote his work. Sidney Barnsley’s son, Edward Barnsley, set up a workshop in Froxfield, Hampshire, working with Oliver Morel, who had been greatly influenced by Romney Green, Eric Sharpe and Stanley Davies. In the 1960s Morel established the Eric Sharpe Resource Centre, which showcased the work of many of modern Arts & Crafts Furniture designers, notably Romney Green and his associates.

Green died in 1945, having led a varied and adventurous life. In an anthology of his poems he describes himself as:

“Craftsman-woodworker, boat-builder and sailor, mathematician, poet, chess-player, social reformer, rebel, friend and lover!”

Today, his antique cabinets, tables and dining chairs are found in antique dealers and museums across the British Isles. A particularly fine collection of his work is on display at the Red House Museum, Christchurch.

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