The Balzac Armchair
1991 for SCP
A modern design classic, the Balzac armchair was designed in 1991 for SCP by Matthew Hilton. It was SCP’s first upholstered piece and although it got off to a slow start it has become their best-selling chair of all time. Hilton studied at Portsmouth College of Art and then at Kingston Polytechnic. After graduating he worked for Capa as an industrial designer and model maker, going on to set up his own design studio in 1984.
Initially met with mixed reviews, the Balzac has become an icon, featured in Taschen’s ‘1000 Chairs’ book. Conran started to stock it in 1993 and continue to do so in all their shops today and it has a permanent place in the Geffrye Museum, the Museum of the English Domestic Interior. Made to order in a factory in Norfolk, the chair has a solid beech frame and is upholstered in multi-density foam with feather cushions and American oak legs. Being available in different fabrics (and configurations) allows the chair to effortlessly fit in to a variety of different interiors from classic to contemporary and the leather version takes on a patina that just makes it better with time. Beautiful, well-proportioned, sweeping curves and luxurious comfort all add up to make what is the “last word in the world of club armchairs”.