Antique Howard and Sons Sofas
Some background information and photographs of our past stock of Howard sofas and chairs.
On this page you will see a representative cross section of our past stock of Howard sofas. For your information (and unlike other pages on this site) the items on this page are of sold stock to give an indication of the range of styles and models available. Our stock of Howard chairs and sofas is constantly changing, so please do email for a list of current stock and prices.
Howard and Sons of Berners Street in London were the foremost upholstery maker of the nineteenth century, regarded in the same way as Gillow were for cabinet furniture. Howard and Sons were such an important company that they collaborated with Gillow on several important projects and may have even manufactured pieces of upholstered furniture for Gillow as well as other important makers such as Maple and Co.
Howard and Sons exhibited at all the large exhibitions of the nineteenth century including the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the subsequent shows at Crystal Palace, as well as exhibitions in America and France. Howard and Sons had the Royal Warrant and supplied several Royal residences with many items of antique furniture, most frequently of course with upholstery.
Although Howard and Sons supplied almost any item for the nineteenth century house and were renowned for their excellent build quality and superb finishing in all areas of chattels and interior decorating, it is their upholstered furniture for which the company is now so famous.
Howard and Sons really lead the way with the design and manufacture of upholstered furniture in the nineteenth century. The upholstered easy armchairs, sofas, wing chairs, library chairs, stools, pouffes, chaise longues and day beds made by Howard and Sons were better than normal pieces of the same period in many ways. Details such as the "siege de duvet" upholstery system for comfort, pocketed cushions, quad lashed springs and so on are all key features that other makers were simply not using, whether through lack of competence or because of cost.
More interesting, perhaps, is that while leading the way as far as innovation and engineering is concerned, Howard and Sons held onto many decidedly traditional upholstering techniques long after other manufacturers had modernised. Some of these methods were decidedly eighteenth century and must have made Howard and Son's upholstery much more expensive than that of other contempory makers.
Features such as tenon jointed frames, a hard stitched front edge (instead of a sprung front) and beautifully smooth and chamfured birchwood frames mean that sofas and chairs made by Howard and Sons are not just comfortable, but also extremely hard wearing.
Much of the furniture made by Howard and Sons was made to order and therefore the sizes can vary. The sizes given for each item are intended as a guideline only. Please call or email us for the specific size of each item.
The comfortable armchairs and sofas made by Howard and Sons in the nineteenth century are now a very good investment for the modern collector. For the 20 years that Hares Antiques has been specialising in armchairs and settees made by Howard and Sons they have become rarer and more sought after, increasing in value every year.
All information and text on this website is Copyright. The information about Howard and Sons is copyright from 1997 and later. Any attempts to copy or publish our hard earned research without prior written consent will be dealt with as extremely serious plagiarism in the harshest possible way © Hares Antiques 1997-2015
If there are any further details required relating to Howard and Sons furniture, please do not hesitate to contact one of us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard and Sons Chesterfield Settee
Absolutely massive Howard and Sons Chesterfield sofa with three turned Howard legs on the front and unusually with three frame legs on the back. The stamp on the caster would indicate the sofa was made before 1890, and judging by the overall shape this is a good early one. This is one of the largest Chesterfields that we have seen at eight feet wide. The shape of this sofa is tremendous, it has the most generous arm curve, with a huge outstretching scroll arm and overhang all the way around.
Howard and Sons Sofa With Show Wood And Stringing
Most unusual Georgian revival sofa with show wood and box stringing to the front and sides. This sofa has cushions on the seat and built in cushions on the inside back and arms. It has been upholstered recently so is in good order, but can be reupholstered in new fabric to suit interior scheme. This is essentially a Castelaine with the addition of show wood. Stamped Berners Street.
English circa 1920
20" high seat approx
Howard and Sons Sofa
Howard and Sons sofa / settee, Baring model, upholstered as per customer requirement in copy of the original fabric. This is a siege de duvet model from the Berners Street period.
This one is sold. Please enquire for a list of current stock.
Howard and Sons sofa with unsual legs made of birch wood and carved with acathus leaves.
Howard and Sons antique sofa
Unusually large Howard and Sons large sofa with turned legs, circa 1860-1880
7 feet long
3 feet deep
Howard and Sons sofa, a Baring model of unusually small proportions which still has the sprung and seige de duvet upholstery of its larger siblings. Please note that this is a library photo of one that we had last year, the one in question is identical to this one, except that it has been stripped to the frame for reupholstery. This is a Berners Street period sofa probably dating from around 1860-1880.
Possibly a pair available!
5 feet wide
31 inches deep
Howard and Sons of London sofa
Unusually small sofa made by Howard and Sons of London, this sofa stands on square taper legs and has four loose cushions, casters and back leg stamped
53" long / 135cm
Howard and Sons of London antique chaise longue
Nineteenth century chaise longue or day bed made by Howard and Sons of London standing on the turned legs for which the company was so famous. This chaise has the unusual feature of having a built in cushion in the back and a sprung seat without which makes the back extra soft.
68" long (approx)
Howard and Sons "Ramsden" model! This special order suite of two chairs and a sofa came all the way from Spain, it returned home to England having been bought new in London from Berners St by its original Spanish diplomatic owner. It is very unusual to find a three piece suite surviving together and rarer still to find a Bridgewater sofa from this period. Ostentatious as well as comfortable - who could ask for more!
The sofa is 160cm / 5'3" wide
Howard and Sons of Berners Street in London
Nineteenth century sofa made by Howard and Sons of Berners Street in London. There is finely sculpted show wood detail on the front of the arm and around the base.
66" wide (167cm)
Foster model sofa made by Howard and Sons of Berners St, London, circa 1900, as with most Howard furniture this would have been made to order and probably had the same leg as other furniture designed to share the same room. Needless to say, this is a very comfortable sofa.
7 feet long
Large and comfortable sofa made by Howard and Sons of London around 1910, this sofa is the classic shape with higher back than arms and fitted cushions attached to the arms and the back, this one we think is a Fielding model, a really good example whatever the model.
Howard and Sons of London antique sofa
Good drawing room scale sofa by Howard and Sons of London, possible a Chaplin model, with built in cushions around the back and arms and loose seat cushions, a very comfortable sofa, English circa 1910
Howard "York" model sofa, usually this sofa has two cushions on the seat with siege de duvet back, but also is found with separate back cushions. Very similar in design to a "Leeds" or a "Burlington", both of these designs have swept back arms (pictured below, the 3 seater is Burlington and the leather one a Leeds). All three however have low arms with high back and have seat that is higher at the front than back. This makes them quite unusual for a Howard sofa, although that slope has been a feature of Howard chairs for a very long time and does make them more comfortable although perhaps more difficult from which to escape.
The leather one in the last two pictures is a lovely old Howard and Sons sofa, probably a Leeds or Burlington model circa 1920 with original blue leather. Seat cushions not original, back cushions missing, cushions may well have been cloth perhaps velvet to match the leather, makers name on leg, paper label and hessian cover underneath.
64" wide / 162cm
Beckett model sofa by Howard and Sons. Characterised by the sloping arms, this model is supremely comfortable. The cushions built in to the back and arms make this sofa perfect for sprawling or dozing on without the need for scatter cushions.
Nice Howard and Sons sofa, Baring model, standing on turned front legs and with gilded brass casters and caster cups on the front, stamped with the makers name and upholstered using the duvet system for comfort. English circa 1860-1880
Howard and Sons Baring model sofa standing on tall elegant square taper legs with really soft down feather cushions on the seat and built into the back and sides, English circa 1890
6'2" / 74" wide
36" deep overall
33" high to arm
(inside seat 52"x 24" approx)
Very rare and comfortable high sided Grantley model sofa made by Howard and Sons of London, this one is slightly smaller than usual and with its thin arms and long legs will add grace and charm to even the smallest drawing room. Note the sides of this model are curved elegantly outward, the arms have three different grades of coil spring with horsehair covering over which lies the triple pocketed down cushion - what this means is that this sofa is as comfortable to sit sideways on as forwards. Put your feet up and relax. English circa 1880
Howard and Sons antique sofa
Very rare and attractive antique Howard and Sons sofa, this sofa is shown here with the three seat cushions as we found it, but as with other Howards with the horsehair 'bible front' to the seat, the sofa is unlikely to have had any cushions originally. This sofa is not upholstered using Howard and Sons patented 'Seige de Duvet' system, instead it has well thought out and carefully constructed layers of sprung horsehair that are unusually soft to sit on without the use of feather cushions. Very comfortable and wonderful scale sofa, English circa 1890.
7' wide overall
30" deep at base of frame (larger at top)
33" tall to back
28" tall to arm
Chaplin antique sofa by Howards and Sons
Wonderfully original "Chaplin" model drawing room sofa by Howards and Sons, this sofa is wonderfully soft and comfortable and is the perfect scale for a smaller room while retaining the proportions of the sort of Howard found in a large country house. English circa 1890
Howard and Sons small Baring sofa
Howard and Sons small Baring sofa, this is the most comfortable 5' sofa anywhere and definitely the prettiest by far, with very long legs for this sort of sofa. Shown here with the original fabric on the back and sides, this sofa has the original paper label as well as stamps to the casters and inside leg.
Please enquire if you are looking for a Baring
43" x 21" inside seat
Howard and Sons Portarlington sofa
Howard and Sons Portarlington sofa, the best sofa ever made for a proper English drawing room
This sofa has just sold, please call or email us to find out what new stock is coming soon!
6'8" / 80" wide
28" high to arm
35" high to back
27" x 60" inside seat
8" tall leg
Howard Beaumont antique sofa
Wonderful comfortable Howard Beaumont sofa standing on square taper legs with original casters and soft siege do duvet down feather cushions.
This is slightly smaller than the similar looking Chaplin or the even larger Portarlingon, while retaining the proportions of a proper country house drawing room sofa. Stamped with the makers name, English circa 1900
This one is sold, please enquire for details of our current stock
26" high to arm, 32" high to back
68" wide, 35" deep
20" x 54" inside seat
6" high front leg
Howard and Sons antique daybed chaise longue
Wonderful nineteenth century upholstered daybed chaise longue standing on fine turned legs with the original monogrammed ticking, English circa 1860
29" deep at frame
38" deep overall
64" wide at frame
72" wide overall
27.5" high overall
7.5" tall leg
Howard and Sons of London antique sofa
Very rare nineteenth century upholstered sofa made by Howard and Sons of London. Howard sofas are very rare in any case, but this one is especially unusual with the lovely French influence fluting to the leg and carving on the show wood. It is in very good condition structurally with some wear to the fabric, is very comfortable and is stamped with the makers name on the back leg. English circa 1870-1890. SOLD
76" long by 30" tall by 30" deep
This sofa has found a new home. Please let us know if you are looking for one like this and we will look out for one for you.
Wonderfully comfortable huge and very rare Howard and Sons sofa. This sofa is 7 feet long with three legs across the front and has all the huge pocketed down feather cushions. This is the largest one that we have seen, it is just an amazing scale and of course there is nothing like it for comfort, c.1900
Length 84" / 7' top back
Length 78 1/2" below
Height 34" / 36" centre back
Another Wimbourne measured slightly larger at
Howard and Sons of London antique sofa
Extremely rare and wonderfully large sofa made by Howard and Sons of London standing on square taper legs, unusually with three legs at the front. Possible a Wimbourne model circa 1900.
Measurements are approximately 6'4" wide at base of frame, 7' wide max, 40" deep max, inside seat 5' wide by 28" deep
Restored and Re-Upholstered 19th Century Antique Sofa, by Howard and Son. The "Baring" Model, re-upholstered into a copy of Howard and Son's original under-ticking. This is a medium sized, generous and well proportioned sofa with side and back cushions attached to the frame and loose cushions to the seat. Arms and back a finished to the same height. Turned and square leg versions are available.
Howard and Sons antique sofa
A rare Howard and Sons sofa with show wood to the arms and legs, circa 1880.
Howard Portarlington sofa
Howard Portarlington sofa, one of the most luxurious Howard and Sons sofa ever made, circa 1910. This one is sold, please enquire for details of our current stock.
Howard Ramsden or Ball and Claw foot model
Howard Ramsden, or Ball and Claw foot model. As these sofas would have been made to order the detail on the legs varies accordingly. Chairs and stools would have been ordered to match. Other variations included cabriole legs (see picture) and Italian and French designs (meaning ebonsed, fluted and gilded).
Howard Baring antique sofas
Photographs of Howard Baring sofas in different fabric. These sofas have sprung horsehair covered with down feather cushions for both the seat arms and back.
This means that they are supremely comfortable to sit formally, lie down, or just lounge around on.
19th Century Antique Sofa, by Howard and Son. The "Chaplin" Model, shown in its original Howard and Son monogrammed underticking prior to restoration. This is a medium sized (similar to the "Baring" - with lower arms/back than the "Grantley"), generous and well proportioned sofa with a very elegant upward sweep to the arms. The side and back cushions are attached to the frame and loose cushions to the seat. Arms are finished lower than the back. Turned legs are very rare. Square leg versions are often in stock, although none at the moment. Please enquire for details.
Width 76 inches
Depth 35 inches
Height 34 inches
Restored and re-upholstered early 20th century antique sofa, by Howard and Son. The "York" model, re-upholstered into a copy of Howard and Son's original under-ticking. This is a small sized, generous and well proportioned sofa, the one in the photo on the left is upholstered with back cushions attached to the frame and loose cushions to the seat. The arms are horsehair with no cushions.
Unusually for Howard and Sons, the York sofas were originally upholstered with a sprung front edge and separate back cushions as shown in the photo below. These ones are both stamped Howard and Sons Berners St so are earlier than they look and date from around 1910s-1920s.
Restored and Re-Upholstered 19th Century Antique Sofa, by Howard and Son. The "Grantley" Model, re-upholstered into a red and gold damask fabric. This is a medium to large sized, generous and well proportioned sofa with a very elegant upward sweep to the arms. The side and back cushions are attached to the frame and loose cushions to the seat. Arms are finished lower than the back. Turned and square leg versions are available.
None in stock at present, please enquire if you are interested in this model.