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Design

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    16/08/1996 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Allen, Paul (designer)
    Rural Development Commission

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil drawing on tracing paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Paul Allen

  • Museum number:

    E.809-2014

  • 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 features the arms of the Ironmongers’ Company, including two salamanders, animals reputedly able to withstand fire unscathed.

This drawing, one of four designs, depicts an earlier alternative design for a double-sided bench. Due to space restrictions in the gallery, this particular design was unrealised. However, certain design elements that feature in the final design for the bench, such as the depiction of salamanders and flower motifs, are present even at this preliminary stage.

Together with the other three designs relating to this project (E.808-2014, 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

Design drawing for a double ended iron bench, pencil on tracing paper. The design depicts tenon joinery, flower motifs and two salamanders. The artist's initials, 'PCA', are inscribed in the body of the salamander on the right. The inscription below the bench reads ' BENCH SEAT FOR V&A MUSEUM LONDON. DESIGNED BY PAUL ALLEN FWCB: LWCB: 16:8:96'

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

16/08/1996 (made)

Artist/maker

Allen, Paul (designer)
Rural Development Commission

Materials and Techniques

Pencil drawing on tracing paper

Marks and inscriptions

PCA
'BENCH SEAT FOR V&A MUSEUM LONDON. DESIGNED BY PAUL ALLEN FWCB: LWCB: 16:8:96'
Artist's initials, 'PCA', are inscribed in the body of the salamander on the right.

Dimensions

Width: 40.5 cm, Height: 38.5 cm

Object history note

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.

Descriptive line

Unrealised design for a double-sided iron bench end, by Paul Allen, pencil on paper, Britain, 1996

Materials

Pencil; Tracing paper; Material

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Bench

Categories

Designs; Drawings; Metalwork; Furniture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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