Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

The Antiquary's Cell

Oil Painting
1835 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Oil paintings that showed romantic views of the past grew increasingly popular during the 19th century, in parallel with the ever-increasing desire to collect 'antiques'.

Subjects Depicted
This is a view of the interior of John Sheepshanks's own study at Barnes by the River Thames near Putney. Cooke visited various antiques dealers in London's Wardour Street and numerous curiosity shops in order to make up a convincing assemblage of antiques and botanical and zoological specimens. Prior to the rush of classification that was a feature of High Victorian science, many collectors and antiquaries had chaotic arrays of curiosities strewn around their rooms. As more scientific-minded historians and biologists replaced antiquaries, nostalgic pictures of picturesque but random collections like this were increasingly in demand. It has been suggested that Cooke was inspired by the description of Jonathan Oldbuck's study in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Antiquary, published in 1816.

People
Edward William Cooke (1811-1880) started painting when he was very young, and aged only nine made drawings for the Encyclopaedia of Plants (1820). He had a long and profitable career as a marine painter, exhibiting 130 works at the Royal Academy. John Sheepshanks collected 11 of his paintings, as well as a number of watercolour studies for them.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Oil Paintings
  • Frame
Materials and Techniques
oil on panel
Brief Description
Oil painting entitled 'The Antiquary's Cell' by Edward William Cooke. Great Britain, 1835.
Physical Description
Oil on panel entitled 'The Antiquary's Cell'.
Dimensions
  • Height: 57.8cm (Note: Object is cased, new measurements could not be taken.)
  • Width: 75.6cm
  • Frame height: 73.5cm
  • Frame width: 90.2cm
  • Frame depth: 5cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 20/01/1999 by conservator
Style
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The modern concept of 'antiques' became established in the early 19th century and was at first only associated with artists and keen collectors. The romantic assemblage of old and obsolete objects shown here, including armour, ceramics and furniture, was borrowed by the artist from a number of antique and curiosity dealers in Wardour Street, Soho, London, which was at that time the centre of the antiques trade.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Object history
Commissioned by John Sheepshanks and given by the Museum in 1857. Painted by Edward William Cooke (born in London, 1811, died in Groombridge, Kent, 1880)
Subject depicted
Summary
Object Type
Oil paintings that showed romantic views of the past grew increasingly popular during the 19th century, in parallel with the ever-increasing desire to collect 'antiques'.

Subjects Depicted
This is a view of the interior of John Sheepshanks's own study at Barnes by the River Thames near Putney. Cooke visited various antiques dealers in London's Wardour Street and numerous curiosity shops in order to make up a convincing assemblage of antiques and botanical and zoological specimens. Prior to the rush of classification that was a feature of High Victorian science, many collectors and antiquaries had chaotic arrays of curiosities strewn around their rooms. As more scientific-minded historians and biologists replaced antiquaries, nostalgic pictures of picturesque but random collections like this were increasingly in demand. It has been suggested that Cooke was inspired by the description of Jonathan Oldbuck's study in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Antiquary, published in 1816.

People
Edward William Cooke (1811-1880) started painting when he was very young, and aged only nine made drawings for the Encyclopaedia of Plants (1820). He had a long and profitable career as a marine painter, exhibiting 130 works at the Royal Academy. John Sheepshanks collected 11 of his paintings, as well as a number of watercolour studies for them.
Associated Object
FA.105 (Study for)
Bibliographic Reference
Parkinson, R., Victoria and Albert Museum, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, London: HMSO, 1990, p. 42
Collection
Accession Number
FA.42[O]

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record createdFebruary 28, 2001
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