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Sideboard
  • Sideboard
    Eastlake, Charles Locke, born 1836 - died 1906
  • Enlarge image

Sideboard

  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    about 1868 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Eastlake, Charles Locke, born 1836 - died 1906 (designer)
    Art Furniture Company (cabinet-maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, turned and carved, with iron and brass handles and hinges

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Thomas Stainton

  • Museum number:

    W.12:7-1972

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This sideboard is very similar to an illustration of a dining room sideboard in C. L. Eastlake's influential book, Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery and other Details, which was first published in 1868 and reprinted twice by 1872. His book was also popular in the United States where it influenced the development of furniture known as the Eastlake style. Eastlake’s furniture designs are simplified versions of the Gothic Revival style, with a strong emphasis on constructional honesty and practicality. This sideboard is typical of his designs, being made of solid oak with a combination of spaces for storage and for serving food and drink, appropriate for a piece of dining-room furniture. Eastlake suggested that the upper shelves could be used for an attractive display of china and porcelain.

Physical description

The sideboard has an upper and base section: the upper section with a panelled back and moulded, curved and pierced side panels, three shelves supported on turned columns; the base section with a cupboard, two drawers and three shelves; the sides of this lower section and the cupboard door panelled; the door fitted with a lock, drop handle and hinges.

Place of Origin

London (possibly, made)

Date

about 1868 (made)

Artist/maker

Eastlake, Charles Locke, born 1836 - died 1906 (designer)
Art Furniture Company (cabinet-maker)

Materials and Techniques

Oak, turned and carved, with iron and brass handles and hinges

Dimensions

Height: 232.8 cm, Depth: 59.6 cm, Width: 132.2 cm

Object history note

This sideboard was designed by C.L. Eastlake and illustrated in his influential book, Hints on Household Taste (1868), pl. XII. Eastlake's design included an inscription along the top rail and shaped brackets under the top shelf but otherwise the sideboard is almost identical to the design. He recommended that if the sideboard 'was additionally provided with a few narrow shelves at the rear [or top] for displaying the old china vases and rare porcelain, of which almost every house contains a few examples, what a picturesque appearance it might present at the end of a room!' (p.84)

It is possible that the sideboard was made by the Art Furniture Company, an architectural design partnership in business at 25 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, London, 1867-8. This firm advertised in 1867 that they could supply 'at ordinary trade prices, domestic furniture of an artistic and picturesque character, designs by C.L. Eastlake...'(Nineteenth-Century Design Pugin to Mackintosh, by Charlotte Gere and Michael Whiteway, p. 150). Another firm, Jackson and Graham, cabinet-makers in Oxford Street, London, also made furniture after Eastlake's designs in the 1870s, including a library bookcase of similar form to the sideboard, illustrated in the London 1878 edition of his book, pl. XX.

Historical context note

Charles Eastlake's book, Hints on Household Taste, first published in 1868 and based on earlier articles he had written in the Cornhill Magazine and in The Queen, was reprinted in several editions, showing the success of his reforming designs for domestic furniture. There are other examples of furniture after Eastlake's published designs, including a secretaire cabinet (sold Sothebys Belgravia 25th February 1981 lot 63) and a library cabinet (sold Sothebys Belgravia 30th April 1990 lot 142). An oak cabinet after Eastlake's design, illustrated as the frontispiece of his book, was shown at the Paris 1867 Exhibition by the firm of Heaton, Butler and Bayne (illustrated Nineteenth-Century Design From Pugin to Mackintosh by Charlotte Gere and Michael Whiteway, Weidenfeld and Nicholson 1993, pl. 128.

Eastlake's Preface in the fourth edition of his book, published in London in 1878, mentioned 'I have taken the opportunity to replace some of the original illustrations by others more representative of the advance which has lately been made in the character of contemporary manufacture.' These included illustrations of furniture made by Jackson and Graham.

The book was equally influential in America, the first edition being published in 1872 and the seventh edition in 1886, and there are many surviving examples of American furniture after his designs. Eastlake, in his Preface in the fourth London edition of 1878, p. vii, repudiated the American versions of his designs, "I would, however, caution my readers against supposing that any designs represented on such a small scale as in the following wood-cuts, can serve as correct models for reproduction by upholsterers and cabinet-makers, without the working drawings necessary for their proper execution; and I think it the more necessary to state this, as I find American tradesmen continually advertising what they are pleased to call 'Eastlake' furniture, with the production of which I have had nothing whatever to do, and for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible."

Descriptive line

oak with turned and carved decoration, and iron and brass handles and hinges; after a design by C.L. Eastlake

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jervis, Simon, Victorian and Edwardian decorative art: the Handley-Read collection, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1972

Labels and date

SIDEBOARD
ENGLISH; about 1868
Oak with iron and brass mounts
After a design by C.L. Eastlake (1836-1906) [pre July 2001]
After a design by Charles Locke Eastlake (1836-1906)
Maker unknown
Oak with iron and brass mounts
The piece is very similar but not identical to that illustrate in plate XII of Eastlake's seminal book Hints on Household Taste,and demonstrates the powerful effect of the book on contemporary taste. [1993]

Production Note

The design is very close to that for a 'Dining-room Sideboard' in plate XII of Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery and Other Details, 1868, by C.L. Eastlake. The Art Furniture Company advertised furniture after designs by C.L. Eastlake in 1867 and may have made this sideboard.

Materials

Oak; Iron; Brass

Categories

Eating; Furniture

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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