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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 watercolour

  • Museum number:

    E.3480-1911

  • 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. 82' A design for a rectangular frame. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is barely sketched. The frame is vertically aligned. The frame features ribbon-and-stick and other neoclassical moulding. A very large urn finial with fluting decoration has large scroll handles which are part of the acanthus scroll mouldings on the crest. There is a patera in the centre of the urn from which fall husk festoons, supported by acanthus scrolls. The apron has a central patera with acanthus scrolls and husk festoons with an unusual shape at the bottom.

'No. 83' A design for a rectangular frame. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is barely sketched. The frame is vertically aligned. The crest is topped by a large anthemion finial which is supported by acanthus leaves. Husk festoons are supported by broad acanthus scrolls around the sides. The apron features acanthus scrolls and husks. A flower is placed on the acanthus scroll on one side.

'No. 84' A design for a rectangular frame. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is less detailed. The frame is vertically aligned. The frame features ribbon-and-stick and other neoclassical moulding. An anthemion finial is supported by two acanthus leaves. There are acanthus scrolls on each corner of the frame. Husk festoons fall along the sides. The apron features a large patera which has husk swags draped around it. The apron also features acanthus scrolls.

'No. 85' Half a design for a girandole. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is barely sketched. The frame features neoclassical moulding. A narrow urn finial is supported by acanthus scrolls, which support husk festoons down the sides of the frame. The apron features a patera and husks. One acanthus leaf curls over the glass.

'No. 86' A design for an oval pier glass. Half of the design is highly finished, the other half is barely sketched. The frame is vertically aligned. The frame featuresneoclassical moulding. A narrow urn finial is supported by acanthus scrolls, which support husk festoons down the sides of the frame. The apron features a husk swag, acanthus scrolls and a patera.

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 watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'No. 82' 'Mr Penton 2 in Repd white aug 1773'
'Dr Landers 1-33-22'
'4 ft 4'

'No. 83' 'Mr Chambert 1 in Red white' 'augst 4th-73'

'No. 84' ' Mr Chambers 1 36 1/2 by 20 in Repd white aug 4-73'
'Mr Hayward 1 frame 23d-Do-'
'2:5 1/2' '4:10'

'No. 85' 'Mr Smith 1 wt & gold'

'No. 86' 'Mr Smith Black Fryers 2 with gold'
'July 31st 1773'
'moulding 1 1/2 broad'
'20-17'

Dimensions

Height: 54.5 cm mount, Width: 74.6 cm mount, Height: 31 cm design, Width: 54.3 cm design

Descriptive line

4 designs for frames, 1 design for a girandole; 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; Ribbon and stick; Husks; Patera; Looking glass; Pier glass; Leaf scrolls

Categories

Designs; Furniture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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