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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.3491-1911

  • 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. 140' A design for a girandole. Husk festoons hang over a large patera. Two candle sockets with leaf scroll stems emerge from the top of the girandole.

'No. 139' 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 husks. An urn finial rests on a base supported by two leaf c-scrolls. Husk festoons hang from the scroll handles on the urn, down the sides of the mirror, following the line of the mirror crossing over the patera on the apron.

'No. 138' A design for a girandole. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame features husks. An urn finial sits on a double c-scroll base. Husk festoons fall from the handles of the urn, guided by an acanthus scroll on each side. The husks follow the line of the mirror and loop over the patera on the apron. Two candle sockets, one either side, emerge from the patera.

'No. 137' 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. An urn finial sits on a rectangular base on the main frame. Husks hang down from the animal head handles, following the line of the mirror, down the sides and looping over a patera on the base.

'No. 136' A design for a rectangular, almost square frame. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame features guilloche and other neoclassical moulding. There is no apron. A bow sits at the top of the main frame. Husks emerge from the bow and follow the line of the mirror down the sides.

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. 140' 'Mrs Stracey'

'No. 139' 'Mrs Stracey'
'34' '25 1/2'
'2:9' '5 ft'
'w:[J]w:m'

'No. 138' 'Mrs Stracy'
'B:H:[2].'

'No. 137' 'Mr May'
'20 1/2' '16'
'[J]:[J]m:2.'

'No. 136' 'Miss Jones'
'at Mr Eden' [crossed through]
'Fendyer Street Decer 1773'

Dimensions

Height: 54.5 cm mount, Width: 74.6 cm mount, Height: 28.7 cm design, Width: 48.8 cm design

Descriptive line

2 design for a girandole, 3 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

Bow; Urn; Husks; C-scroll; Guilloche; Girandoles; Patera; Overmantel; Looking glass; Pier glass; Leaf scroll

Categories

Designs; Furniture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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