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Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    mid 1770s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Linnell, John, born 1729 - died 1796 (workshop of)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, pencil, yellow and black watercolour

  • Museum number:

    E.3492-1911

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case W, shelf 1, box A

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. 145' A design for an oval frame, possibly an overmantel. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame is horizontally aligned. The frame features neoclassical moulding. The crest is topped by a bow which loops down to support a patera, touching the main frame of the mirror. Husk festoons fall from the bow and are supported by acanthus scrolls down the sides of the mirror. On the bottom edge the husk swags are looped over 5 patera.

'No. 144' A design for an oval pier glass. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame is vertically aligned. The frame features neoclassical moulding. The crest features two large acanthus c-scrolls. A bow sits above, from which hang husk festoons fall to the bottom of the c-scrolls. There is no extra decoration down the sides of the frame. The apron features acanthus scrolls and husks and an anthemion.

'No. 143' A design for an oval pier glass. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame features neoclassical moulding. The crest is topped with a bow from which husk festoons fall, supported by acanthus scrolls down the sides of the frame. The apron features a patera, acanthus scrolls and husks.

'No. 142' A design for a girandole. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame features neoclassical moulding. The crest is topped by a bow from which husk festoons fall supported by acanthus scrolls down the sides. A small urn sits below the bow on the main frame. Two candle sockets are pencilled in and come from the bottom of the looking glass. A patera sits in the centre of the apron, with acanthus scrolls and husks below and a husk festoon above.

'No. 141' A design for an oval pier glass with the same decoration as no. 142, excluding the candle sockets.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

mid 1770s (made)

Artist/maker

Linnell, John, born 1729 - died 1796 (workshop of)

Materials and Techniques

Ink, pencil, yellow and black watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'No. 145' 'Mr Price in Repd white'
'32 1/- - 16'
'B:B:[Z].'

'No. 144' 'Mr Price 2 in Blue & white

'No. 143' '1- Mr Price Blue & white'
'27-17'
'S:[JS]:m'

'No. 142' 'Mr Burnett'
'2:2' '5:0'
'R:H:2.'

'No. 141' 'Mr Burnett Decembr 30th 1773'
'27-21'
'2:8' '5 ft'
'0:[H:Z]'

Dimensions

Height: 54.5 cm mount, Width: 74.6 cm mount, Height: 28.2 cm design, Width: 53.3 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

Pencil; Ink; Watercolour

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Anthemion; Husks; C-scroll; Bow; Overmantel; Patera; Looking glass; Pier glass; Girandole mirrors; Leaf scrolls

Categories

Designs; Furniture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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