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Newel post finial
  • Newel post finial
    C. F. A. Voysey, born 1857 - died 1941
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Newel post finial

  • Place of origin:

    London

  • Date:

    ca.1907

  • Artist/Maker:

    C. F. A. Voysey, born 1857 - died 1941 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, carved

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by H M Government and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014

  • Museum number:

    W.16-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This object links Voysey’s furniture and woodwork designs with his practice as an architect, as well as encapsulating his sense of humour. Voysey occasionally designed carvings such as this to cap newel posts in the staircases of his buildings. Voysey was clearly fond of this carving – according to its later owner, the scholar-architect John Brandon-Jones, he used it as a hat stand.

The carving is almost identical to six finials which remain on the secondary staircase at Garden Corner, a house on Chelsea Embankment for whose owner, the businessman and MP Emslie Horniman (1863–1932), Voysey remodelled the interior in 1906–7. Voysey had a photograph of a similar finial taken together with a perpetual calendar and ashtray, by the photographer Herbet Koester, c.1907 (photograph in the collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects). Voysey inscribed the reverse of the photograph: ‘Newel Post for an M.P. / Mr. Looking fourways’ - perhaps a wry political comment.

Physical description

An oak newel post finial carved as a caricature of a man's head, one on each facet, wearing a hat

Place of Origin

London

Date

ca.1907

Artist/maker

C. F. A. Voysey, born 1857 - died 1941 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Oak, carved

Marks and inscriptions

C 25 / NEWEL POST / C. F. A. VOYSEY
Type-written label (C. F. A. VOYSEY added in handwriting), affixed to underside. Exhibition label from 'C. F. A. Voysey: architect and designer, 1857-1941', Brighton, 1978.

Return to / J. BRANDON-JONES & ROBERT ASHTON / ARCHITECTS / 2 REDINGTON ROAD : LONDON : N.W.3
Typed label affixed to underside (Return to handwritten in blue ink), probably dating from 1978 when the post was lent to the Voysey exhibition in Brighton.

Dimensions

Height: 22.2 cm whole, Width: 7.2 cm whole, Depth: 7.2 cm whole

Descriptive line

Top of an oak newel post, each side carved with a caricature of a man with a flattened nose, c.1907

Materials

Oak

Techniques

Carved

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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