Parker Knoll is a furniture brand that embodies quality and craftsmanship. In the 50s, 60s and 70s it was a brand people aspired to own. The firm made traditional and modern furniture. Their famous Recliner from the 60s, is a modern classic. Today there is a strong market for their classics from the 60s and 70s.
Parker Knoll began in 1889 when Frederick Parker founded his own furniture business, after starting in the trade as an apprentice in 1862. The trade name comes from 1931, when Tom Parker, Fred’s son, teamed up with Knolls of Stuttgart to manufacture Knoll’s innovative spring chairs.
After the War they, like many manufacturers, experimented with contemporary design. Their take on it was always retrained and elegant. At the same time, they continued with traditional designs.
Their buyers were always more interested in comfort and quality above jazzy design. They produced a restyled version of their classic wing chair in the 50s. They also embraced some of the bright colours that were fashionable in fifties’ interior design.
The wing chair is probably the firm’s most famous design, but in the sixties it had a rival, the Recliner. The Parker Knoll Recliner was an arm chair, that could recline to a fully horizontal position, with every other position in between. In the 60s and 70s it was a favourite choice in middle class homes. That is perhaps the reason for the choice of a white Recliner in Cliff Brumby’s living room in the 1971 film, ‘Get Carter’, starring Michael Caine.
In the 70s, the firm’s reputation as a luxurious brand continued. Their advertisements persuaded people to spend the extra money to get a quality piece of furniture.
Today Parker Knoll is a well respected brand for both new and secondhand furniture.