I’ve done a little bit of genealogy on my most recent acquisition.
Fortunately there is a maker’s tag on the welded metal that gave me a good head start.
My waiting room chairs are technically known as Tierstack Seating, and were once made in lengths of Five as well as three seats.
According to the Power House Museum, Aristoc began life as a manufacturer of carpet sweepers until approached by one Grant Featherston, a reputable Australian Modernist and furniture designer extraordinaire.
“Grant Featherston is the most collectible of the Australian Post Second World War Modernist Designers of Furniture.”
Featherston collaborated with Aristoc from 1957 to 1970, when Aristoc were taken over by Furniture Makers Australia, of whom I can find no record (it is a very ubiquitous name).
There is a record in the Victoria Gazette No. 94 (1958) under the Public Works section, of Arsitoc providing no less than 100 x five seat tierstack units to MacRobertson Girls’ Highschool in Melbourne for the princely sum of 1,925 pounds.
So we can assume my 3 seat tierstack is from somewhere between ’58 and 70, although I would hazard not later than the early 60’s. As time went by, and Featherston’s work & celebrity progressed, I think they found more interesting things to do with their machinery than crank out institutional seating.
Featherston’s Scape chair was released in 1960 and has retained it’s aesthetic value in the years since. The Powerhouse in Sydney has acquired several original examples of his work.
Of course there is nothing to suggest that the tierstack design may be attributed to Featherston, who is widely acknowledged for all other pieces he designed during the period he collaborated with Aristoc, but my little tierstack rolled off the press in the same workshop, made by the same craftsman and it’s fun to see the famous cousins.