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Design

  • Place of origin:

    Essex (probably, designed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1740 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sanderson, Joseph (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, pen and ink and wash on paper

  • Museum number:

    E.222-2005

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case W, shelf 104

This drawing is from a group of ten designs for pier glasses, tall, narrow mirrors intended to fill the pier, the space between two windows, sometimes surmounting a pier table, by Joseph Sanderson (about 1690-1747). He designed this pier glass in about 1740 and signed the drawing with his initials 'J. S' at bottom left.

On this design, the upper part of the frame is overlaid with a flower basket on trailing foliage, with curved grooves to both sides. At the base, a band of indentations is supported by a mask between scrolling foliage. At the top is a triangular pediment.

This group of ten designs for pier glasses was formerly contained in a bound album of drawings, by different designers, assembled by Charles John Shoppee (1823-1898), the architect, between 1850 and 1880. It has since been disbound and the drawings sold.

Joseph Sanderson and his cousin, John Sanderson (d. 1774) were partners in building, and there is a possible connection between the designs and Barrington Hall, Essex where they worked. The Shoppee album contained elevations for Barrington Hall by Joseph Sanderson. The house was built for J. S. Barrington about 1740 and subsequently abandoned. Much of the furniture ended up with an unrelated family at Bradfield Hall, Berkshire. Amongst the furniture sold from Bradfield was a pair of giltwood pier glasses, now at the Treasurer's House, York. The pair of pier glasses is somewhat comparable to the designs.

Physical description

This drawing is from a group of ten designs for pedimented pier glasses by Joseph Sanderson in about 1740. Each design, signed with the designer's initials 'J. S.' at bottom left, shows a pier glass consisting of a tall, rectangular mirror, an ornate frame, surmounted by a pediment.

On this design, the upper part of the frame is overlaid with a flower basket on trailing foliage, with curved grooves to both sides. At the base, a band of indentations is supported by a mask between scrolling foliage. At the top is a triangular pediment.

Place of Origin

Essex (probably, designed)

Date

ca. 1740 (designed)

Artist/maker

Sanderson, Joseph (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, pen and ink and wash on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'J. S.'
In pen at bottom left. They are the initials for Joseph Sanderson.

Dimensions

Height: 17.4 cm, Width: 10.8 cm

Object history note

This group of ten designs for pier glasses were formerly contained in a bound album, the title page of which read: 'Architectural Drawings / Collected by / CHARLES JOHN SHOPPEE / F.R.I.B.A. / 1850 to 1880'. This is an album of drawings, by different designers, assembled by Charles John Shoppee (1823-1898), the architect, between 1850 and 1880. It has since been disbound, and the drawings were sold by Christie's in 1989.

Joseph Sanderson and his cousin, John Sanderson (d. 1774) were partners in building, and there is a possible connection between the designs and Barrington Hall, Essex where they worked. The Shoppee album contained elevations for Barrington Hall by Joseph Sanderson. The house was built for J. S. Barrington about 1740 and subsequently abandoned. Much of the furniture ended up with an unrelated family at Bradfield Hall, Berkshire. Amongst the furniture sold from Bradfield was a pair of giltwood pier glasses, now at the Treasurer's House, York. The pair of pier glasses is somewhat comparable to the designs. Linked as the designs arguably are to an existing building and furniture, they are of particular interest.

Historical significance: The rarity of designs for furniture before 1750 makes these drawings a significant addition to the holdings of designs for furniture in the V&A's collection.

Historical context note

This particular architectural style of mirror, in the Palladian manner using columns and pediments was developed after around 1725.

Descriptive line

Design for pedimented pier glass by Joseph Sanderson about 1740

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Harris, John. A Digression on John Sanderson and the Rococo. Furniture History. 1990, 26, pp.101-113

Production Note

This group of ten designs were probably made when Joseph Sanderson and his cousin John Sanderson worked in Barrington Hall, Essex.

Materials

Pencil; Ink; Paper

Techniques

Drawing techniques

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns; Foliation (pattern); Pediment; Mirror; Pier-glass

Categories

Designs; Drawings; Furniture; Glass

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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