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Design

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1953 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bawden, Edward, born 1903 - died 1989 (made)
    Guyatt, Richard, born 1914 - died 2007 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    E.439-2010

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS, case R, shelf 67, box L

This design is by Edward Bawden (born Braintree 1903; died Saffron Walden, Essex 1989) who taught at the Royal College of Art from 1933 and Richard Guyatt (born La Coruña, Spain 1914; died Ham, Wiltshire, 2007) who was Professor of Graphic Arts at the same college. The design is for the proposed window treatment of Selfridges department store to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. This drawing is one of three for the Coronation decoration of Selfridges' exterior by these artists in the collection of the V&A. Ephemeral in nature, the drawing shows the way in which the Coronation celebrations engaged participants from a range of British design practice linking them to the commercial enterprise of Oxford Street.

The lion and the unicorn in this design have a precedent in Guyatt's work. He co-designed with colleagues from the same college the Lion and the Unicorn Pavilion as part of the 1951 Festival of Britain on South Bank, London. In this design, the symbolism of the beasts must be the same. They celebrate two perceived traits of Britishness; the solidity and strength of the lion and the imagination and eccentricity of the unicorn.

Physical description

Design, the heads of a lion and a unicorn with red, white, and blue-striped scarves around their necks mounted side-by-side on yellow columns.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

ca. 1953 (made)

Artist/maker

Bawden, Edward, born 1903 - died 1989 (made)
Guyatt, Richard, born 1914 - died 2007 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Edward Bawden / & / Richard Guyatt'
Signatures of each artist in pencil at bottom right.

Dimensions

Height: 56.3 cm frame, Width: 72 cm frame

Object history note

This is a design to decorate the front of Selfridges department store to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Descriptive line

Design, pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper, by Edward Bawden and Richard Guyatt for the decoration of Selfridges department store, Oxford Street, London, for the 1953 Coronation

Materials

Pencil; Watercolour; Paper; Bodycolour

Techniques

Drawing; Painting

Subjects depicted

Department stores; Decoration (process); Coronations; Lions (heraldic); Unicorns

Categories

Designs; Shopping

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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