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Coat stand

Coat stand

  • Place of origin:

    Winkworth (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1985 (designed)
    ca. 1987 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carter, Ronald (designer)
    Peter Miles Furniture Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Benugo

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In November 1985 the V&A opened the New Restaurant (as it was then known) in the vaulted brick basement of the Henry Cole Wing (which had been built as the School of Naval Architecture in 1871). The furniture was commissioned from Ronald Carter, who in 1971 had been appointed a Royal Designer for Industry for his furniture design. The New Restaurant later gained notoriety as the 'Ace caff with quite a nice museum attached', as promoted in a late-1980s advertisement for the V&A. The furniture entered the catalogue of its Derbyshire-based manufacturer, Peter Miles Furniture Ltd, as the Buxton range, and was specified for other museum cafes including the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The simple right-angular joinery of this furniture derives from Arts and Crafts traditions. Nothing is superfluous and there is no decoration. The chairs were identical to the stools, with the addition of simple back rails, and the flat stools were just as serviceable as small tables. The design of this coat stand is sophisticated but appears deceptively simple. The arms are arranged in two crosses and each arm emerges from a different facet of the solid octagonal column. This was one of six coatstands specified for the restaurant. The furniture was particularly durable and remained in service in the New Restaurant until its closure in November 2006.

Physical description

Coat stand made entirely of ash, comprising of a timber cross-shapped base (reinforced on the underside with metal strips, possibly added later), solid timber octagonal-section column, eight arms (two sets, each of four arms in cross formation), the lower set slightly shorter than the upper set, each arm set into a facet of the octagonal column.

Place of Origin

Winkworth (manufactured)


ca. 1985 (designed)
ca. 1987 (manufactured)


Carter, Ronald (designer)
Peter Miles Furniture Ltd (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'This is the property of / MILBURNS RESTAURANT LTD / No:'
White plastic label with black printing, attached to the side of the cross base.

'V / 011'
Inventory number, hand-written in black ink on the white plastic label


Height: 1625 mm, Width: 595 mm at base, Depth: 595 mm at base

Object history note

Part of the furnishings of the V&A 'New Restaurant' opened in the basement of the Henry Cole Wing in November 1985, closed in November 2006. Six coat stands were specified for the restaurant.

Historical context note

The coat stand, together with tables, stools, sideboards and chairs, were designed by Ronald Carter specifically for the New Restaurant at the V&A. They later entered the catalogue of Peter Miles Furniture Ltd as the Buxton range.

Descriptive line

Ash coat stand, cross-shaped base and arms with octagonal column, designed by Ronald Carter ca. 1985 and manufactured by Peter Miles Furniture Ltd, Winkworth.


Ash (wood)


Furniture; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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