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Pedestal secrétaire
  • Pedestal secrétaire
    Baldock, Edward Holmes, born 1777 - died 1845
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Pedestal secrétaire

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1830-40 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Baldock, Edward Holmes, born 1777 - died 1845 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oak and chestnut or ash; veneered with tulipwood inlaid with bloodwood and with marquetry in kingwood; tulipwood and padouk veneer interior. Gilt-brass mounts and marble slab.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    1117:1-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This secrétaire looks as if it might have been made in Paris in the period 1755–1765. The lyre-shaped body was fashionable in France at the time for such small, delicate writing desks. The decoration of flowers in veneers cut across the grain of small branches (‘end-grain’ or ‘bois de bout’ marquetry) was also used at the time by high- quality cabinet-makers.

However, some of the details of construction, particularly of the drawers, suggest that the secrétaire was made in London in the early 19th century. This piece is branded with the initials ‘EHB’ for the 19th-century dealer and cabinet-maker Edward Holmes Baldock. He ran a profitable business in London, selling antique furniture, glass and china and repairing and copying pieces of furniture made in Paris in the 18th century. This secrétaire was probably made between 1830 and 1845.

Physical description

Carcase of oak and chesnut or ash with drawers of oak, veneered with tulipwood inlaid with bloodwood and with floral marquetry in bois-de-bout kingwood. The interior is veneered in tulipwood and padouk. Gilt-brass mounts and marble slab. Stamped by Edward Holmes Baldock on the back of the drawer case.

This small secrétaire is built as two curved cases, the cases joined by wooden pegs. A marble-topped pedestal sits on top of the upper case, a small drawer is fitted to the front of the pedestal. The upper case opens as a fall-front, behind which isa nest containing two drawers. The fall-front's writing surface is covered in green leather, tooled and gilded. The lower case is a cupboard, which opens with a single door that makes up the entire case front.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1830-40 (made)

Artist/maker

Baldock, Edward Holmes, born 1777 - died 1845 (made)

Materials and Techniques

oak and chestnut or ash; veneered with tulipwood inlaid with bloodwood and with marquetry in kingwood; tulipwood and padouk veneer interior. Gilt-brass mounts and marble slab.

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped 'EHB'
Stamped on the back of the upper case

Dimensions

Weight: 36 kg, Height: 120 cm, Width: 56 cm, Depth: 26 cm

Object history note

This secrétaire was given to the Museum by the military tailor John Jones. Mr Jones bequeathed a large collection of furniture, paintings, ceramics, metalwork, glass and books to the V&A in 1882. During his lifetime the collection was kept in his London house at number 95 Piccadilly.

Descriptive line

Pedestal secrétaire, English, probably 1830-40, stamped by Edward Holmes Baldock

Materials

Oak; Chestnut; Ash; Tulipwood; Bloodwood; Kingwood; Padouk; Brass; Leather; Marble

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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