Design

1872-1883 (made)
Design thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This drawing is probably of a stand at a major international exhibition or of one of William Watt's shop displays of Japanese-inspired furniture. It is drawn in pen and ink with watercolour, which picks out typical Japanese colours of sage green and blue. It is similar in layout to the proposed interiors that were shown in the catalogue 'Art Furniture', designed by Edward W. Godwin and manufactured by William Watt of 21 Grafton Street, London. It contained hints and suggestions on domestic furniture and decorations and was published in 1876.

Design & Designing
By the 1870s Godwin had begun to produce designs for the furniture firm of William Watt, inspired by the Japanese use of lacquer. Godwin did not directly copy Japanese examples, but combined both Chinese and Japanese influences, which can be seen in the chairs in this drawing. He also aimed to combine the simplicity and elegance he admired in Japanese art with the needs of the Victorian home.

Influence
Godwin frequently used an inverted heart or 'cloud' design, especially for the backs and sides of hanging cabinets. He found this pattern in a print of a Japanese hotel by the artist Aimé Humbert. In this drawing you can see it in the hanging cabinet at the centre of the drawing. This shape was later used in furniture made by Liberty's and became a trademark for the furniture manufacturer, Heal & Son in the 1890s.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink and water-colour on paper
Brief Description
Anglo-Japanese furniture designs. Pencil, pen and ink and water-colour drawing by Edward William Godwin, 1872-1883. One of 33 sheets of designs for furniture, interiors and murals.
Physical Description
A drawing of an interior with designs for furniture in the Japanese style. The furniture consists of a number of chairs, tables, a wall cabinet and a footstool. The room has a green carpet and blue panelling on the walls. At the centre of the drawing is a chair, upholstered in green. On the reverse is a design for a sea-horse.
Dimensions
  • Height: 20cm
  • Width: 29.8cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'Anglo Japanese Designs by E.W. Godwin' (Inscribed)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: In his Anglo-Japanese designs E.W.Godwin did not seek to copy Japanese examples. Instead he aimed to combine the simplicity and elegance he admired in Japanese art with the needs of the Victorian home. The furniture depicted here also shows the influence of Chinese design.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Mr Edward Godwin, son of the artist
Object history
The design for a brass sea-horse is also shown on p.73 of the sketchbook E.252-1963. The design was made for A. S. Wortley.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
This drawing is probably of a stand at a major international exhibition or of one of William Watt's shop displays of Japanese-inspired furniture. It is drawn in pen and ink with watercolour, which picks out typical Japanese colours of sage green and blue. It is similar in layout to the proposed interiors that were shown in the catalogue 'Art Furniture', designed by Edward W. Godwin and manufactured by William Watt of 21 Grafton Street, London. It contained hints and suggestions on domestic furniture and decorations and was published in 1876.

Design & Designing
By the 1870s Godwin had begun to produce designs for the furniture firm of William Watt, inspired by the Japanese use of lacquer. Godwin did not directly copy Japanese examples, but combined both Chinese and Japanese influences, which can be seen in the chairs in this drawing. He also aimed to combine the simplicity and elegance he admired in Japanese art with the needs of the Victorian home.

Influence
Godwin frequently used an inverted heart or 'cloud' design, especially for the backs and sides of hanging cabinets. He found this pattern in a print of a Japanese hotel by the artist Aimé Humbert. In this drawing you can see it in the hanging cabinet at the centre of the drawing. This shape was later used in furniture made by Liberty's and became a trademark for the furniture manufacturer, Heal & Son in the 1890s.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1963 . London: HMSO, 1964.
Collection
Accession Number
E.482-1963

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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