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- Museum number:
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Architecture, Room 128, case 7, shelf WW, box EXP
This canopy, with other carvings (W.19 to W.24-1980), was originally part of the panelled decoration of the drawing-room in a house called 'Lululaund' in Bushey, Hertfordshire. It was built in 1886-1894 for the painter Hubert Herkomer (1849-1914), a highly successful artist, who had established an art school in Bushey and who was also the Slade Professor of Art at Oxford. Herkomer had exchanged a portrait he painted of the American architect H.H. Richardson (1838-1886) for an elevation drawing for the house he was planning. The interior, however, was entirely to his design, and he controlled it closely by employing his father Lorenz and his uncle Johann, to carve both panelling and furniture, while many of the textiles were woven by his uncle Anton Herkomer.
The Herkomers originated in Bavaria and the carving of the house reflected the Gothic style of Bavarian carving of the early 16th century – a flamboyant Gothic style, with sinous stems to plants. 'Lululaund' was greatly celebrated in its day but in 1939 it was demolished
Place of Origin
Object history note
Designed by the painter Sir Hubert Herkomer (1849-1914) for his house, Lululaund, near Bushey, Hertfordshire, 1885-1894. The canopy was carved either by his father, Lorenz, or by his uncle Johann, or under their supervision by an unknown carver working on the house.
This canopy was purchased (with other carvings from Lululaund, W.20 to 24-1980) from a Mr Donald Hay, who had acquired them from an elderly cousin, Miss Hannah Braithwaite, of Bradford. There is no record of how they had come into her possession. The Nominal File for the acquisition is numbered MA/1/H1851. At the time of acquisition the responsible curator, Simon Jervis, described the carving as 'vegetative, proto-Art Nouveau, late Gothic, which is at once very German and very Richardsonian' (referring to H.H. Richardson, the architect who designed Lululaund.
The carvings derive from Gothic designs of the early 16th century. Similar forms were used in areas of Germany and Switzerland in the early 16th century, as illustrated by a multi-drawered cabinet, originally made c. 1518 for the offices of the Dom at Basel, is in the Historisches Museum Basel (inv. no. 1906.1121), illustrated in Stefan Hess and Wolfgang Loescher, Möbel in Basel. Kunst und Handwerk der Schreiner bis 1798 (Basel, 2012), cat. no. 12
Canopy from a small recess, carved in oak, in Gothic style. This is one of a pair that flanked the chimneypiece in the house, Lululaund, built at Bushey by the artist Hubert Herkomer (1849-1914) for his own use.
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Sarah Medlam, 'Family Values: Sir Hubert Herkomer's furniture for Lululaund', Furniture History, vol. LI (2015), pp. 223-234 discusses the interior furnishings of Lululaund.
Carved to Hubert Herkomer's design by his father, Lorenz, or by his uncle Johann, or by one of the group of carvers whom they supervised
Architectural fittings; Interiors; Woodwork
Furniture and Woodwork Collection