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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1903 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Walton, George, born 1867 - died 1933 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stained birchwood

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.119:1 to 7-1959

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

George Henry Walton (1867–1933) was the youngest of twelve children. He came from an artistic family, several of his siblings being artists and his father Jackson Walton an amateur painter and photographer. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and in 1888 was commissioned to re-design the interiors of Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms at 114 Argyle Street. He then opened showrooms under the name George Walton & Co., Ecclesiastical and House Decorators. During the 1890s Walton’s business rapidly expanded into woodwork, furniture making and stained glass, with showrooms in York, Glasgow and London.

By 1903, when this sideboard was made, Walton had resigned from the company he had founded and was practising exclusively as an architect and designer. This sideboard was part of the furnishings devised for a private commission for Mr. George Davison at The White House, Shiplake, Oxfordshire. The elegant form of the piece, with its tapering legs and exotic glossy lacquered surfaces, reveals how Walton was influenced both by eighteenth-century English cabinet-making and by Japanese design.

Physical description

Of panelled construction, resting on six legs; two at the back ends of square section curved backwards, four in front formed of the ends of the square members of the main structure turned into a circular section and tapering towards the bottom. The two inside ones straight, the two outside curved outwards at the bottom at a diagonal. A rail running the length of the piece and intersecting the leg members just above the point where they are turned supports a broad shelf. The centre bay of this is recessed in a shallow curve; the back of the shelf is formed by three rectangular panels; it is open at the sides. In the next stage the side bays are filled by a single cupboard each held in by a small catch at the bottom. The centre bay has six small drawers, three on top of three. Both drawers and cupboards have handles of turned bone, of a dark grey-green mottled colour, formed as dished roundels inset into the fronts of drawers and cupboards and rising in the centre to a small circular knob. The top overhangs at front, back and sides and supports at the back a small shelf on four shaped brackets backed with a single plank for its whole length, which is less than that of the back by about two inches at each end.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1903 (made)


Walton, George, born 1867 - died 1933 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Stained birchwood


Height: 110 cm, Width: 202 cm, Depth: 53 cm

Object history note

Made as part of the furnishings designed by Walton for the White House, Shiplake, Oxfordshire, the home of Mr. George Davison.

Object sampling carried out by Jo Darrah, V&A Science; drawer/slide reference 6/9.

Descriptive line

Sideboard of stained birchwood; British 1903 des. G.Walton for The White House

Labels and date


Designed by George Walton (British, 1867-1933)
Stained birchwood

Made as part of the furnishings designed by Walton for the White House, Shiplake, Oxfordshire, the home of Mr George Davison.

Circ.119-1959 [1989-2006]






Furniture; Scotland


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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