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Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. October 1774 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Linnell, John, born 1729 - died 1796 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, pencil, black watercolour

  • Museum number:

    E.3518-1911

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case W, shelf 2

This design is part of a group of over 900 drawings of frames, mainly for pier glasses, overmantels, and girandoles. Many of these workshop designs share similar characteristics such as leaf scrolls and festoons of husks. Most of them are numbered, contain information about who ordered them, the date, the price (written in code), the colour of the frame and the dimensions of the finished object.

The drawings from John Linnell's workshop survive over the period 1773 to 1783. From April 1773 to August 1778, the workshop produced about twelve pieces a month. Production decreased over the next two years to 3 or 4 pieces a month. In 1783 these designs were no longer produced.

Robert Adam, a leading architect, was a key influence on the neoclassical designs of John Linnell. Linnell worked with Adam for the first time at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, and they worked together on a number of other occasions. In the early 1770s festoons of husks began to be used on pier glasses and they are very prominent within these workshop designs.

John Linnell (1729-1796) was the son of the famous furniture maker William Linnell (ca. 1703-1763). Unlike most furniture makers, John Linnell gained a design education at the St. Martin's Lane Academy, which was founded by William Hogarth in 1735. In 1750, aged 21, he joined his father's firm as a designer. On his father's death in 1763, John Linnell took over the family firm. During his lifetime John Linnell produced high quality furniture, which rivalled that of other leading furniture makers such as Thomas Chippendale, John Cobb and William Ince and John Mayhew.

Physical description

'No. 253' A design for a rectangular frame with a small urn finial. The frame features neoclassical moulding, a patera, acanthus scrolls and husk festoons.

'No. 252' A design for a rectangular frame with an urn finial. The frame features neoclassical moulding, acanthus scrolls and husk festoons.

'No. 251' A design for a rectangular frame with an urn finial. The frame features neoclassical moulding, acanthus scrolls and husk festoons.

'No. 250' A design for an oval frame with an oval-shaped urn finial. The frame features neoclassical moulding, acanthus scrolls and husk festoons.

'No. 249' A design for a rectangular frame with a large, oval-shaped finial. The frame features neoclassical moulding, paterae, acanthus scrolls and husk festoons.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. October 1774 (made)

Artist/maker

Linnell, John, born 1729 - died 1796 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Ink, pencil, black watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'No. 253' 'Mr Cottin 1'
Dimensions and the price code are given

'No. 252' 'Mr Cottin 2'
'framed in white'
Dimensions and the price code are given

'No. 251' 'Mrs Green'
'B. gold'
Dimensions and the price code are given

'No. 250' 'Sr Cha Cope Octor 1774'
Dimensions and the price code are given

Dimensions

Height: 54.8 cm mount, Width: 74.6 cm mount, Height: 30.5 cm design, Width: 53.4 cm design

Descriptive line

5 designs for frames; John Linnell.

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

Helena Hayward and Pat Kirkham,William and John Linnell; eighteenth century London furniture makers (London, ca. 1980).
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1911, London, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office 1912

Materials

Ink; Pencil; Watercolour

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Urn; Patera; Leaf scroll; Husks

Categories

Designs; Furniture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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