Stag furniture was a mass market manufacturer that made some outstanding modern designs. They employed John and Sylvia Reid as design consultants. Their first designs for Stag, the 'C' range, were minimalist in the extreme. Later John and Sylvia Reid designed 'Minstrel', which united eighteenth century elegance and modern day thinking. Stag Minstrel was one of the most successful ranges of furniture ever produced.
Stag 'C' range
The first project John and Sylvia Reid did for Stag was a new range of bedroom furniture called Cumberland. They took functionalist principles to their logical conclusion and designed a range of furniture that was cheap to mass produce, but was of high quality. There was no pretence that this new furniture was handmade by craftsmen; it was built by machine and was meant to look like it.
The original range was just one bedroom suite: a 3 ft wardrobe, a three-drawer chest and four-drawer chest with a mirror to allow either chest to be used as a dressing table. The units were stark in the extreme. There were no handles; the drawers and doors had recessed hand grips instead. All were straight sided boxes. The wardrobe was simply decorated with a plain mirror only nine inches wide placed to the left hand side. However, it was good enough for its purpose. Stag advertised it as for 'the young in heart and in pocket' and for a design of this quality, it was amazingly cheap.
Stag's Chairman, Vaughn Radford, was not impressed with Cumberland. He thought it would never sell. His two sons, however, loved it. At first, Vaughn was right. Sales were slow; no more than £5,000 in the first year. It took a while for people to accept such a stark design. However, interest in the range grew dramatically and by 1957 it was earning more than £500,000 a year for Stag.
As well as being a commercial success, the 'C' range had a strong influence on the design of mass market modern furniture throughout the fifties.
Stag announced a surprising departure when the Company launched a new range of bedroom furniture called Madrigal, which visually derived inspiration from the past. Just as Stag shocked the industry in 1953 when they launched the almost Cubist 'C' Range, Madrigal was just as revolutionary.
John and Sylvia Reid, Stag's design consultants, also designed the new range. Madrigal echoed the simple elegance of the eighteenth century, but was not a copy. It was finished in traditional Honduras mahogany and had antique style brass handles. Madrigal though, was nothing like traditional furniture.
There was a perfectly commonsense commercial reason for Madrigal. Stag's contemporary 'C' range was now well established and offered customers a choice of more fashionable, darker walnut, rather than the original light oak. Stag's traditional 'A' range was outselling it though. Stag wanted a range of modern furniture, made on a modern production line that would nonetheless appeal to customers who did not like contemporary. Stags directors also reasoned that traditional looking furniture would give people a break from modern life, especially in the bedroom.
Madrigal ought to have been a runaway success, but it did not sell well. However, the idea was a good one and John and Sylvia Reid developed it further in the sixties.
Stag's modern furniture
In 1960, John and Sylvia Reid produced a stunning teak dining set for Stag. It was Stag's first venture into dining room furniture and set the firm apart from its competitors. The low, long sideboard was in teak veneer on slender satin finished steel legs. It could be assembled in units giving the impression of a single piece of furniture that was 10 feet long. The sideboard, combined with some elegant metal dining chairs with wooden backrests and a beautiful oval dining table in teak with steel legs, in the right setting, made a very luxurious looking dining room.
This new Stag furniture was adaptable and suited much smaller rooms. Sideboard units of 3 feet and 4 feet 6 inches in length could be used on their own. All of the pieces were inexpensive for the quality of the design. The 4' 6" sideboard cost only £26 [£410 in today's money], the dining chairs £8 15s [£138] and the table £17 [£268]. These amounts, however, were still significant investments for working families in the sixties.
Stag continued with their policy of innovative modern design. A couple of months after introducing the new dining room furniture, the Company launched a new range of bedroom furniture to replace the popular 'C' range. Also designed by John and Sylvia Reid, this new range featured metal legs and satin polished steel handles too. To modern eyes, it resembles office furniture, but at the time, it was perfectly suitable for a modern bedroom. They finished the new furniture in revolutionary Fineline birch veneer. Fineline was a new veneer that had straight grain lines and was easy to match.
A year later John and Sylvia Reid produced a modern lounge suite with a steel frame. However, this and the dining furniture were far from successful and Stag discontinued both ranges in early 1963.
Stag's Madrigal range, introduced in the fifties, did not sell well. However, the Company's relationship with its creators, John and Sylvia Reid, continued. After designing some stunning modern furniture for Stag, the couple updated the traditional Madrigal range in 1964. The new range was Stag's best selling range of furniture, and possibly the best selling UK furniture range ever. Named Minstrel, the new range was an evolution of Madrigal.
Stag Minstrel furniture was made from makore (or African Cherry), both solid and veneered. It was of similar appearance to the earlier Madrigal, but had new, simpler brass handles.
Stag Minstrel was a great hit. Enough people had a liking for traditional style English furniture, without wanting genuine antique or modern reproduction. Minstrel gave them modern, practical and functional furniture that sacrificed no functionality to eye appeal, yet looked as elegant as any eighteenth century piece. It was also very good value for money. Stag's quantity buying of timber, efficient production and economies of scale meant no other manufacturer could offer similar designs at the same price.
Stag Minstrel found a place in the market that no-one had previously tapped. The adaptability of the design supported what eventually became a vast range. Stag Minstrel remained in production for nearly forty years.
Buy Stag furniture
I have found the best place to shop for any vintage or retro furniture is eBay. The choice is widest, you get to compare a number of different lots and you generally get a bargain price. You might pick up a bargain at a boot sale or charity shop, but eBay saves you the leg work.
Your comments on Stag furniture
I am selling a Stag Dining ROom Suite - table with four chairs - french dresser and hifi cabinet. Where would you recommend selling this furniture. It is also in good condition although the chairs do need cleaning.
Helen. Helen Proud
my contact details for anyone wanting my dining room suite is 07725754821 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep trying my number if it does not answer as I cannot get a signal when I am at work. The furniture is in Newcastle upon Tyne. Helen Proud
hi bob wayne i am interested in your limed oak stag bed room suite i love it you left no contact please email me janetstevens email@example.com janet stevens
WANTED - I am looking to replace my circular Stag Minstrel dining table. It is the four leg version rather than the pedestal one which is approx 45" in dia and extends. Looking for one in central Scotland - Does anyone have one for sale - cash waiting for table in top condition - can collect.
Thanks, John Duncan John
I am selling Stag wardrobe in excellent condition. Dimensions: H 177cm (c.70"), W 121.5cm (c.48"), D 56cm (c.22"). Lovely, warm dark brown original colour. Two hanging rails, one shelf and one shoe rail. Very spacious, cute and homely! Wish I could keep it!
Cannot see which type of Stag; could someone suggest where to look, please.
Must collect; located in Camberwell, London SE5.
Please make me an offer.
Gordana 07958 975 664 Gordana
I am selling a stag madrigal welsh dresser in medium oak - this is the relaunched range from the mid 1970's. Reasonably good condition (consistent with it's age). Measurements are 4'4" x 6'6". £150 ono.
Please find a picture here: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=11rzomq&s=7
Buyer must collect from Rotherham, S Yorks.
Please e-mail me if you are interested - firstname.lastname@example.org
Many Thanks. Jan
I have a Stag Madrigal dining set in mid brown maple to sell. There is a pedestal table that extends to seat 10 people but is used now unextended with the original four chairs. Once lived in a large house and now in a compact town house so reluctant forced sale. Offers around £400 tel: 07720049701.
I live in Hull, East Yorkshire. josephine holden
Sorry my Stag Madrigal table purchased in 1980, seats 8 when extended, not 10 as stated. It is great for setting out a copious buffet! Josephine
Hi Iam looking for Stage Minstral dining table and chairs, also corner display unit and either bookcase or display unit to fit 38" alcove. I live in Derby and would prefer it if sellers were local to my area. Maureen Bird
My e-mail address is email@example.com Maureen Bird
I have a Stag Madrigal Dining suite in maple for sale, bought in 1977 with the original brochure.It is in very good condition with only one or two minor marks. It comprises four chairs and two carvers, with rectangular table and 2 door sideboard with dresser top. Must collect from the Poole area. Any offers? firstname.lastname@example.org Derek Monk
I have a Stag Madrigal Maple Rectagular extending table + 2 carver and 4 dinging chairs (one has damaged spindles)+ 2 door cupboard with glass fronted 2 shelf bookcase top. purchase approx 1977. For sale Paul Verity
I have a Stag Madrigal Maple Rectagular extending table + 2 carver and 4 dinging chairs (one has couple damaged spindles)+ 2 door cupboard with glass fronted 2 shelf bookcase top. purchase approx 1977. For sale £85.00 for table and chairs, £85.00 for bookcase to collect - St Albans - Pls contacr Paul Verity 01727 764 517 or mail email@example.com PAUL VERITY
04.01.11 I am looking for a Stag Minstral 4 drawer bedside cabinet. A pair would be fantastic! Good condition if possible. Perth (Central Scotland) Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Carol
Stag's Modern Furniture
I have a 1960's John and Sylvia Reid teak dining table, 4 chairs and matching sideboard, as pictured above, that I inherited from my Nan and am now looking to sell. Please get in touch if you are interested. Cardiff. Carrie
Stag Versaille Cherrywood extending Dining Table and 6 chairs.
Stag Versaille Cherrywood Sideboard. Lovely condition. Bought new in 1998. Can send pictures. Not sure how much to ask - any advice? malcolm fieldsend
Looking for Stag Minstrel 3 door 3 drawer compact sideboard in dark mahogany with removable plinth and top edge to join other stag minstrel furniture in the same range. Renfrewshire but will pay and courier for right item. Bob
Looking for Stag Minstrel 3 door 3 drawer compact sideboard in dark mahogany with removable plinth and top edge to join other stag minstrel furniture in the same range. Renfrewshire but will pay and courier for right item. email@example.com Bob Moffett
It now has a white heat mark on it and I understand that you can use the steam from an iron to remove this...just wondered if anyone had tried this or knows someone to contact by email about it. Have tried finding a website for Stag to no avail" Jenny Wall 21/06/2011
MD137 Hall Table
MD039 Wall Hung Mirror
MD052/L Twin Pedestal Desk
MD125 Tall Bookcase
2 x Wardrobes, two door with drawer at the base
2 x MD163 4 Drawer Narrow Chest
Dressing Table with MB179 Mirror and Stool (recovered)
Hifi Cabinet (High)
Bedhead (Queen Size)
Small Bookcase (with drawer at the bottom)
Extending Dining Table, Six Chairs and 2 Carvers (will probably need recovering)
2 x Wall Units (Glass fronted top, two drawer and cupboard at bottom)
Nest of 3 tables
MB166 3 Drawer Wide Chest (in very poor condition)
We have owned all of these since new, and they are 20 to 15 years old. We are having a clear out and are looking to dispose of them in one go, preferably to someone willing to collect.
We are in East Yorkshire at the end of the M62, postcode HU15 2AL.
May we suggest you give us an indicative margin for all the items, depending on condition, so that we know roughly the minimum we should receive, to avoid a wasted journey for you, and wasted effort on our part clearing the items for collection?" David Hall 09/07/2011
Looking for a pair of Stag Minstrel bedside tables or cabinets. Situated in Scotland Kinross area just north of Edinburgh.
Thanks" Jo 15/08/2011
fabric backed chairs (4x standard and 2 x carver) which I am looking to
sell. We had the table from 1996 and it has probably only been used
approximately 20 times since then, needless to say the set is in
excellent condition. I live in Loughborough, Leicestershire" Zoe Walker 22/08/2011
My mam has a Stag Hi-Fi Unit and wilst moving house the pins from each side of the shelf have got lost.
Can you help me please?
Where am I able to pourchase these pins from in the North East of England or can I purchase them from you company?
Jean Wild" Jean Wild 22/09/2011
We're in Surrey. 020 8393 8525" Kevin&Diane 25/09/2011
Doeas anyone know of a stockist of spares as we have a sliding door that has broken and needs a little TLC.
Hope someone can help regards
Clive M Neale" Clive Neale 04/10/2011
I've trawled the web and no joy so far.
Hope someone can help.
Thanks Roz" Roz 07/10/2011
"John, I have the dining table you are after for sale, please leave me your email so I can contact you. It comes with 4 chairs. Thanks, Fiona" Mrs Lancaster 16/04/2011" John Duncan 24/10/2011
Table 6 chairs 2 carvers. Sideboard, dresser with drinks and display.
All excellent condition.
Reasonable offers please." Valerie 09/12/2011
I have a Stag Versaille occasional pedestal table. In order to store it I want to remove the top. When I remove the 4 screws it still won't budge. Has the top been glued as well as screwed? I'd appreciate some help in case I damage it.
Thank you." Bren 16/12/2011
double wardrobe 4ft, single wardrobe 3ft. dressing table with 4 drawers and triple mirrors. chest of drawers 3 large,and 3 small. I am looking for offers. I live just off junction 27 on M62 Tel.01132383580" Janette Clamp 26/12/2011
Dining dresser, double wardrobe, 7 drawer chest, single headboard - all in vg/excellent condition. Plus 3 diningroom chairs (red/gold regency seats)in fair/good condition." Mhairi 08/01/2012
Central Scotland preferred." Leslie Verth 15/02/2012
approx 39 inch height
30 inch width
11 inch depth
Also Hi Fi unit glass fronted door
approx 30 inch height
20 inch width
18 inch depth
I live in the Greater Manchester area" fran 20/04/2012
Have the smaller oval one at 5'6" when extended, but bigger house, bigger table!
Any ideas where I could locate this?
Thanks, Mrs Bruce, Angus, Scotland" P Bruce 07/07/2012
Angela" Angela Lenk MBE 10/07/2012
2 BEDSIDE CABINETS 1 DRESSING TABLE 1 CHEST OF LARGE DRAWERS.WORST OF ALL I AM DEAF SO CANT USE THE PHONE,DISABLED SO MUST BE ABLE TO DELIVER.TYVM" JEANETTE 28/07/2012
I also have a matching headboard (Model No SK451). This fits either a 4ft 6in or 5ft bed. Would like to sell these as one lot. I live in Chelmsford, Essex." Maureen 05/08/2012
I have never seen any lately but I am sure that they were produced when we originally received the table and chairs as a wedding present back in the late 1970s(we couldnt afford the carvers back then)!" JUDITH SHORTEN 15/01/2013
It would be useful to provide your contact details. Best regards" Steven 31/01/2013
We also have matching bedside cabinets and chest of drawers, but I expect these to go today. Phone 0191-388-7694." DAVID HOLDING 07/02/2013
Large glass fronted display cabinet with lights and drinks cabinet within. In excellent condition. Â£500 Ono
Large extending dining table with four chairs and two carvers with a green upholstered seats. Chairs in very good condition, table good but has some small scratches. Extends to seat 8 people comfortably. Â£300 Ono.
Also nest of tables. The smallest one has a little damage on the veneer on one side. Â£50
Tall record player/music cabinet with glass front118cm tall x 50cm wide Â£250 Ono vgc.
All bought in 1990's" M Pilkington 11/04/2013
drop leaf stay for our stag bureau as the
plastic bit has broken that is at the end
of the brass runner.
Also looking for a key for the drop down
leaf, or total lock replacement.
Can anyone Please help as I don't no where
to find these spares. Pete." Peter R Williams 18/10/2013
I have Stag Minstrel Dressing Table, Tallboy and Double Wardrobe in solid Mahogany I need to sell due to moving to a smaller house. Would you be interested in buying it, or could you point me the right direction of where I can sell it.
In very good condition, with all original fittings.
Thanks Toni" Toni 03/04/2014
After a number of years of having Stag furniture purchased from Army and Navy, we've decided to change all our furniture to a different style. I'm now looking to sell a TV/Video unit, a bookcase and a coffee table. The latter has one or two marks which could be easily removed. The other 2 items are in good condition. Shortly, I will have 2x Bedside 2 drawer units, a chest of drawers and a bed frame for sale but I need to source replacement furniture first. All of these items are mahogany but I have no idea as to price. Maybe someone out there can help. I live in Kent" Paul McCarthy 25/06/2014
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=311030330881" sarah taylor 30/07/2014
Thanks in anticipation" Martyn Maynard 27/09/2014
I am in Potters Bar - any offers? The furniture has only ever been moved once so all in good condition, on part of the wardrobe has been dismantled for removal." Marian 26/06/2015
On the back is the original label with the following:
MODEL JOB - ND
Io5 394704 26/09/85
Any assistance greatly appreciated, its a lovely piece of furniture!" Geoff Hallett 05/07/2015
M Dunn" Margaret Dunn 14/09/2015
Please make me a sensible offer either for each item or all 3" Paul McCarthy 13/12/2015
1) MD 042 - Double China Cabinet
2) MD 126 - Glazed Display Unit
3) MD 049 - Tall HiFi Unit
4) MD 144/A/B/C - Nest of Tables (three)
5) MD 143 - Oval Drop Leaf/Occasional Table" Sarah Roberts 03/02/2016
I am looking for a 2/3door sideboard in Stags sandringham to match my wall unit. Nottingham shire area only.
Thanks" Christine 19/03/2016
handles . West Midlands area Glenys and Robert 09/07/2016" Mrs Glenys Price 09/07/2016
Please contact me via email if anyone is selling. Thanks." Jackie Ross 10/07/2016
Looking for Â£349" Madeline smith 18/08/2016
Dark wood style looking for
Â£75 also stag minstrel telephone table not original ulpholstery
But rare handed seat
Also stag Richmond cherry wood gentlemans dresser with lift up top to reveal mirror and 5 drawers CH" Madeline smith 18/08/2016
Have a partcial label with a deer head in the middle. Have pictures." Marlene Rocha 18/02/2017
1) MD 126 - Glazed Display Unit (Â£35)
2) MD 049 - Tall HiFi Unit (Â£35 on its own)
3) MD 144/A/B/C - Nest of 3 tables (Â£35 on its own)
4) MD 143 - Oval Drop Leaf/Occasional Table (Â£35 on its own)
Buyer to collect from Cardiff, South Wales. My details are Chris M:07715462788 and E:firstname.lastname@example.org" Chris Roberts 24/04/2017
I have for sale a hi-fi unit
King size head board
These items are in good condition , please contact me for price if interested." Elaine Randall 01/06/2017
2 door wardrobe, 3 door wardrobe (I believe these can be dismantled for ease of transport), x2 4 door drawer chest of drawers, and a dressing table unit with 4 drawers which are asymmetrical. I can provide photos and measurements if anyone is interested. Any reasonable offer would be accepted as they need to disposed of promptly due to house move.
Buyer to collect from Cheltenham.
E:email@example.com" Elaine 20/06/2017
John 21/7/17" John 22/07/2017
I don't know if you can help me please I purchased a piece of stag from eBay a drinks cabinetvdresser that has a light to connect the only problem is I have never seen this type of connector before
If you can assist or put me in the right direction that would be fantastic
Fran" Francis wrigglesworth 16/09/2017
I have many pieces of stag minstrel bedroom furniture for sale all in very good to excellent condition. Blanket boxes, dressing tables, bedside cabinets, wardrobes, chests of drawers , Cheval mirrors, wall mirrors, bookcases,hi-fi cabinets, almost the entire range that Stag made. Can deliver. Any questions please call 07908 626 441" John 01/10/2017
Can you tell me if stag minstrel table with twin pedestal legs can have legs removed at home to get table through dining room door.
Table being delivered on Tuesday 14th November 2017 and bothered it won't go through doorway" Date foster 12/11/2017
I am looking for two Stag high back dining chairs in mahogany with four bars at the back, seat cover doesn't matter. Judy 07841418979" firstname.lastname@example.org 12/12/2017
looking to buy two (maybe more) John & Sylvia Reid dining chairs as illustrated above (teak, leather and metal frame), condition of leather & foam irrelevant as long as woodwork present as building a set and recovering. Any replies gratefully received . Malcolm at email@example.com" Malcolm Warner 07/01/2018
1 Triple Door Wardrobe (not the 8ft tall one) two hanging spaces and one shelved/drawer section
1 Large width 6ft tall double wardrobe with mainly hanging space and a high level shelf
2 x 7 drawer tall boys
Dressing table with 3 part mirror and upholstered stool
2 single drawer bedside cabinets
I tall wall hanging mirror
I corner drinks unit (triangular with glass opening section at the top and door at the bottom)
1 double bed frame and base with headboard/base unit, bed end and sides.
These can all be collected dismantled (bed and wardrobe) from storage in London. Call 07710835837 for any questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org" John Stewart 24/03/2018
Jo" Jo 07/04/2018
Nottingham/Derby Area, Collect or maybe deliver locally.
Call Kevin on 07790 938 227" Kevin 11/04/2018
07908626441" John 18/04/2018
Ring Jamie 07894 635 741" Jamie 27/04/2018
Small bedside tables in minstrel - a pair. I am based in London
Many thanks" Gini 11/05/2018
email@example.com" John 28/09/2018
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153211148646" kinamoo 08/10/2018
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