R152 Contour Chair designed by Grant Featherston

Made by Featherston, Grant in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1951.

The R.152 was the first of the highly successful Contour range of furniture developed by Grant Featherston in the early 1950s. The range included tables and cabinet furniture as well as a variety of chairs and an elegant chaise longue. All chairs utilised the same construction principle as the R152, though few were upholstered in calfskin.

One of the new wave of Australian designers to emerge in the immediate post-war years, Grant Featherston (1922-1995) designed his first chair in 1947. In the...


Object No.


Physical Description

Chair, R152 Contour Chair, plywood / fibre horsehair / wadding / rubber / hardwood / calf skin, designed and manufactured by Grant Featherston, Melbourne, c. 1951.

Wooden cruciform base with four tapered legs. Body contoured with concave shape to seat and back. Upholstered in brown and white calf skin.


Marked on underside of chair, 'This chair has a contour frame of flexible plywood resilient upholstering of latex rubber illuminized hair hair / fibre wadding star buttoned cover / contemporary furniture designed and manufactured by / Grant Featherston / 1 Alfred Plaza / South Melbourne'.



890 mm


570 mm


700 mm



Designed by Grant Featherston [1922-1995], as part of the Contour series, 1951-1955. Patent application for the R.152 lodged in May 1951.

Marks on underside state that the chair was manufactured by Grant Featherston, 1 Alfred Plaza, South Melbourne.

Grant Featherston explained that he had wanted to make a chair that would be a 'negative' of the human body. Overseas moulded plywood was used but the cost of importing the large presses required for the process was prohibitive. Featherston sought another method and spent a good deal of time and materials seeking a solution. One morning when communting to Melbourne he absent-mindedly twisted and folded his tram ticket and the resulting shape led him the solution! Featherston found that by sawing pieces of plywood to the right size and shape from a flat piece of plywood, the sheet could be bent into a form fitting shape, and that by curving and joining with other pieces of shaped ply the desired chair shell could be shaped and made incredibly strong.


Featherston, Grant 1951



Purchased by the owner from Georges Ltd, in Melbourne, in the early 1950s.


Georges Ltd


Credit Line

Purchased 1989

Acquisition Date

13 June 1989

Cite this Object


R152 Contour Chair designed by Grant Featherston 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 October 2018, <https://ma.as/97939>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/97939 |title=R152 Contour Chair designed by Grant Featherston |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 1 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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