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A Miscellaneous Collection of Original Designs, made, and for the most part executed, during an extensive Practice of many years in the first line of his Profession, by John Linnell, Upholsterer Carver & Cabinet Maker. Selected from his Portfolio's at his Decease, by C. H. Tatham Architect. AD 1800.

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, pencil, yellow and blue watercolour

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case W, shelf 8, box C5

This design is one of John Linnell's transitional designs, where he begins to explore and use neoclassical motifs.

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

This design for a sofa features blue upholstery with leaf scrolls, pomegranates and a basket of flowers. The sofa features lion's paw feet, tassels and leaf scrolls. Fabric hangs below the main seat. Festoons hang over the shoulders of the putti who has a sheath of arrows and is therefore possibly cupid.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


c. 1760 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Ink, pencil, yellow and blue watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'Plate 4'
The scale is given


Height: 53 cm mount, Width: 38 cm mount, Height: 29.4 cm design, Width: 43.1 cm design

Descriptive line

A design for a settee; 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), p. 121 (v2).
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1929, London: Board of Education, 1930.


Pencil; Ink; Watercolour



Subjects depicted

Putti; Leaf scrolls; Sofa; Lion's paw feet




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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