Design

16/08/1996 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil drawing on tracing paper
Brief Description
Unrealised design for a double-sided iron bench end, by Paul Allen, pencil on paper, Britain, 1996
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'
Dimensions
  • Width: 40.5cm
  • Height: 38.5cm
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. )
Credit line
Given by Paul Allen
Object history
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.
Subject depicted
Association
Summary
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.

Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
E.809-2014

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record createdNovember 19, 2014
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