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Design

  • Place of origin:

    England (designed)

  • Date:

    c. 1998 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Allen, Paul (designer)
    Rural Development Commission

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Photocopy on paper with tracing paper overlay inscribed with notes and dimensions

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers of London

  • Museum number:

    E.807-2014

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case M, shelf 112

This design relates to a bench in the V&A’s collection (M.23-1998). The bench was commissioned from the Rural Development Commission and designed by their then forgework advisor, Paul Allen. It was made over several months during 1998 by a team of blacksmithing apprentices, many of whom signed the piece.

The bench was designed to display a variety of forgeworking techniques, both constructive and decorative, such as the double heeled tenon joints which form the end frames and the fire-welded flower motifs. The mild steel seat is decorated with repoussé and chased ornament and features the arms of the Ironmongers’ Company, including two salamanders, animals reputedly able to withstand fire unscathed.

This design, one of four, is a preliminary design that was sent to the V&A for discussion and differs from the completed bench. It features tenon joinery and repoussé panels decorated with floral motifs and two salamanders.

Together with the other three designs relating to this project (E.809-2014, E.810-2014 and E.807-2014), these drawings show the design process for an object in the V&A’s collection and demonstrate the continuation of hand-drawn design.

Physical description

Photocopy, with tracing paper overlay, depicting a preliminary design for the back of a wrought iron bench. The design depicts tenon joinery and includes repoussé panels decorated with floral motifs and two salamanders from the arms of the Ironmongers’ Company. The inscription below the bench reads ‘BENCH SEAT FOR V&A MUSEUM LONDON / DESIGNED BY PAUL ALLEN. FWCB: LWCB.’ The tracing paper overlay is inscribed in ink with notes and dimensions.

Place of Origin

England (designed)

Date

c. 1998 (designed)

Artist/maker

Allen, Paul (designer)
Rural Development Commission

Materials and Techniques

Photocopy on paper with tracing paper overlay inscribed with notes and dimensions

Marks and inscriptions

'BENCH SEAT FOR V&A MUSEUM LONDON / DESIGNED BY PAUL ALLEN. FWCB: LWCB.'
Lettered

Tracing paper overlay inscribed in pen with notes and dimensions for the length of the bench in inches and millimetres

Dimensions

Height: 420 mm, Width: 297 mm

Descriptive line

Preliminary design for the back of an iron bench, by Paul Allen, photocopy on paper with tracing paper overlay, England, c. 1998

Materials

Paper; Tracing paper; Ink

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Repousse; Bench; Tenon; Salamanders

Categories

Designs; Drawings; Ironwork; Metalwork; Furniture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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