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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1970-1980 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pye, David, born 1914 - died 1993 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Turned and carved kingwood and olive

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the maker

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

David Pye was a trained architect, furniture-maker and teacher, a theorist and accomplished wood-turner and carver. He taught furniture design at the Royal College of Art first as a tutor from 1948 and then as a Professor from 1963 until his retirement in 1974. His unsentimental writings on the nature of design and workmanship influenced a generation of designers and craft writers. Pye also made some of his own tools, and by 1950 he had invented the ‘fluting engine’. This was used to create the smooth rhythmic flutes seen on the inner surface of some of his bowls. A smaller version of this tool was in use by the 1970s for engraving similar patterns on the lids of miniature boxes.

Pye produced turned objects for most of his working life, but it was only when he retired that he began to do this in earnest. Simple, elegant yet exquisitely worked, each of his pieces is unique. Pye was interested in the effects of light, shadow and reflection in helping to define the shape of an object. By using glossy and sometimes exotic woods and creating textured surfaces he made seemingly simple objects come alive with detail.

Physical description

Turned kingwood box with olive wood screwtop; round with convex sides and carved radial spiral fluting on top of lid

Place of Origin

England (made)


1970-1980 (made)


Pye, David, born 1914 - died 1993 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Turned and carved kingwood and olive

Marks and inscriptions

stamped on the underside of box with mathematical symbol for 'pi'; 'Pye / NFS 70' written in biro and pencil on a white rectantugular sticker stuck to underside of box


Height: 4.1 cm, Diameter: 6.4 cm box, Height: 3.8 cm box, Height: 1.2 cm lid, Diameter: 6.2 cm lid

Descriptive line

Turned and carved kingwood and olive box; Pye, David, 1970-80, England


Kingwood; Olive


Turning; Carving



Production Type



Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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