Douglas L Hadden (British, 20th century)
Design for Poster/Showcard ‘Furniture of Distinction’
Pen and ink c. 1930
Hadden was a senior designer for Geo M Hammer, designers and retailers of school and ecclesiastical furniture. Their lift-top school desks are particularly well regarded, and always carried their brass name plate. Hammer were renowned for their interior woodwork, they were commissioned to undertake the choir stalls in Sir Basil Spence’s ground-breaking Coventry Cathedral. Dick Russell (brother of Gordon Russell and who worked for his brother before World War Two) famously designed the chairs to be used by the congregation; as all-wood stacking chairs they were innovative at the time. As senior designer, Hadden was at the heart of the Coventry project.
Hadden was educated at the Wycombe School of Art and quickly rose to the position of chief designer at Burkles, early in his career. During the World War Two he worked as an air warden in Cowley and later within the Royal Artillery, before returning to work for the Italian firm BIANOS, helping to shift its production of spitfires propellers back to peace-time wood-work. For his 7th and finale job he worked as chief designer for one of the largest and oldest firms in Britain, Geo. M Hammer. With a wide experience of designing furniture to a high standard, Hadden worked for colleges, universities, schools, libraries, monasteries and nunneries, churches and abbeys, cathedrals, synagogues and private houses. In addition to furnishings, Hadden took pride in producing fine pianos for many of these residences.
Through Geo M Hammer, Hadden’s designs can be found across the British Isles today, with many further appearing in America.
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Condition : Good.