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Cabinet

  • Place of origin:

    Chipping Campden (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1905 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ashbee, Charles Robert, born 1863 - died 1942 (designer)
    Ride, W. W. (wood-worker)
    Pyment, J. W. (wood-worker)
    Powers, Annie Statia (leather-worker)
    Guild of Handicraft Ltd. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Walnut stand, sycamore carcase and cedar drawers, with gold tooled morocco leather; wrought iron fittings probably added after 1906

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.234:1, 2-1960

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The inspiration for this cabinet was the Spanish vargueño, a writing cabinet on a stand. A typical vargueño had a plain exterior that opened up to reveal a rich interior fitted with leather tooled with gold foil. The English designer C. R. Ashbee particularly admired this contrast and used it to great effect in designs for a number of fall-front writing cabinets. In this type of cabinet, the hinged front flap opens or 'falls' to form a horizontal writing surface.
This cabinet appeared in an exhibition of 1906 organised by the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, to which Ashbee belonged. It was available for sale at £65. Unsold, it then became part of the furnishings at 37 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London. This house, known as the 'Magpie and Stump', belonged to Mrs H. S. Ashbee, the designer's mother.

Place of Origin

Chipping Campden (made)

Date

ca. 1905 (made)

Artist/maker

Ashbee, Charles Robert, born 1863 - died 1942 (designer)
Ride, W. W. (wood-worker)
Pyment, J. W. (wood-worker)
Powers, Annie Statia (leather-worker)
Guild of Handicraft Ltd. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Walnut stand, sycamore carcase and cedar drawers, with gold tooled morocco leather; wrought iron fittings probably added after 1906

Dimensions

Height: 139.2 cm, Width: 107.2 cm, Depth: 63.2 cm

Object history note

Object sampling carried out by Jo Darrah, V&A Science; drawer/slide reference 6/46.

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

Innen-Dekoration, XXI, 1910, p.179.

Labels and date

CABINET ON STAND

Designed by C.R. Ashbee (British, 1863-1942)
Made by J.W. Pyment and others, the Guild of Handicraft, Campden, Gloucestershire. Leatherwork by Statia Power Walnut and silver-grey wood with leather, blind-stamped and tooled in gold, wrought iron fittings
1903

Ashbee showed this cabinet at the Arts and Crafts Society Exhibition in 1906, but it was probably made before the middle of 1905 since the leatherwork was decorated by Annie Power, the Guild bookbinder who left the Guild in 1905. The form of the cabinet is based on that of a seventeenth century Spanish Vargueno.

Circ.234-1960 [1989-2006]

Materials

Walnut; Sycamore; Cedar; Leather; Wrought iron

Techniques

Cabinet-making; Gold tooling; Leather-working

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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