Room thumbnail 1
Room thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

This object consists of 33 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Room

1686-1688 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The chamber is panelled in oak with bolection mouldings (mouldings that project beyond the surface). It is decorated with cedarwood carving, and there is a semicircular (astragal) moulding along the entire cornice.Two doors are placed on each of the side walls (east and west). Before the room was removed to the Museum, there was a mullioned window of pinewood, with two pointed arches, in the north-west corner. This is recorded in a plan and watercolour of the room, both executed by Hanslip Fletcher (1874-1956) before the sale and demolition in 1903.

Time
The room was built between 1686 and 1688. Its moulding and carving are characteristic of English Baroque panelling and ornament of this date.

People
It was built for John Penhallow for a house at 3 Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street, London. The overmantel is surmounted with the coat of arms of the Penhallow family with that of the Penwaring family. This records the marriage of an earlier John Penhallow and Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Vivian Penwaring, in about 1500.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 22 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Panelled Room
  • Window Frame
  • Keys
  • Architectural Elements
  • Components
  • Cornice
  • Panelling
  • Components
  • Fireplace
  • Components
  • Fireplace
  • Chimneypiece
  • Fireplace
  • Components
  • Door
  • Panelling
  • Components
  • Door
  • Panelling
  • Doors
  • Panelling
  • Architectual Elements
  • Cornice
  • Components
  • Window
  • Skirting
  • Window
  • Skirting
  • Window
  • Skirting
  • Window
  • Section of Panelling
  • Window
Materials and Techniques
Oak panelling and moulding, with applied cedar carving
Brief Description
Panelled room; panelling commissioned by John Penhallow in 1686-1688, and taken from 3 Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street, London before demolition in 1903. Made in London
Physical Description
Four oak panelled walls with applied carving in cedarwood. Chimney piece with

overmantel on north wall, consisiting of frame surmounted by the arms of Penhallow quartering Penwaring, with festoons of fruit and flowers. 17th century Flemish landscape painting acquired for the Clifford's Inn Room in 1923. Shelf with projecting centre, and beneath it, architrave with two bands of ornaments, the outer floral and foliate with amorini in the corner, inner formed by acanthus leaves mitred round panel carved with festoon of drapery. Fluted marble lining for fireplace opening.



Two doors on each of the side walls (east and west). Those nearest the chimney piece and surmounted with a broken pediment, with scrolls terminating in a rosette; the architrave formed by acanthus leaves, with corner brackets at the top; winged head of cherub, in high relief, immediately above the door. Those doors furtherest from chimney surmounted by lunettes, with scroll spandrells, and head of lion placed below the keystone. The architrave decorated with broad leaf and astragal mouldings. Richly carved foliate scolls in the panel immediately above the door and corner barckets at the top. Before the room was removed to the V & A, there was a mullioned window of pinewood, with two pointed arch in the North West corner. This is recorded in the plan and a watercolour of the room, both executed by by Hanslip Fletcher (1874 - 1956), before the sale and demolition. Window thought to have been inserted in the 19th century, making the panelling somewhat assymetrical. Window not included in the 1903 display.



Bolection moulded panelling between the doors, windows and chimneys. Long upper panels separated from short lower ones by a bolection moulded dado rail. Two broad upper and lower panels sepate the doors, one broad and one narrow series of panels separate the pedimented doors from the wall with the fireplace. Astragal moulding along entire cornice.



Two window openings along end wall, separated by assymetrical bolection panelling, (narrow left and broad central and right).
Gallery Label
  • British Galleries: Prosperous householders in the late 17th century frequently commissioned oak panelling for their grandest rooms. Large oak panels such as these were an innovation of the Restoration period. The attractive colour and grain was set off by strong architectural features such as the bold pediments above the doors and the frieze of crisply carved acanthus leaves. The raised panels are framed in mouldings with a curved profile, known as bolection mouldings.(27/03/2003)
  • Panelling from Clifford's Inn 1686-1688 Unknown carpenter Made in London Oak panelling with cedar carving Commissioned by John Penhallow (d.1716) barrister of Clifford's Inn Bolection panelling was common in late 17th century interiors. The doorway shows the influence of continental baroque. Framed by acanthus-leaf moulding,the broken pediment flanks a plinth supported by a lion's head. The Penhallow coat of arms over the fireplace recorded the original occupant of the chamber from 1688.(pre 1996)
Object history
Bought from Messrs Durlacher, London. Panelling commissioned by John Penhallow, who first occupied a chamber (Inn of Chancery) in 1674 and was readmitted in 1688; Clifford's Inn was rebuilt between 1686 and 1688



Taken from 3 Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street, London before demolition in 1903.



Notes from R.P. 90998



20 July 1903 Report of Jackson

on the old panelled room in the buildings of Cliffords Inn about to be pulled down. "It is a very good, and practically a perfect example of a well finished interior dating from about 1700 or rather earlier". He and others on staff recommend sanction be given for purchase.



30 July 1903 Minute

reports that photographs and drawings, owned by Fairbrother, Ellis & Co., are available to the Museum to assist with reconstruction.



31 July 1903 List of objects for purchase

details the panellings and carvings from 3 Cliffords Inn from Messrs Durlacher Bros. For £606.7.6. An illustrated catalogue has been sent to the Art Library.



20 January 1904 National Art Library

reports on the arms upon the Cliffords Inn woodwork. Per Maclean's as being that of John Penhallow.



19 January 1904 Letter from George Booth (Secretary to Cliffords Inn) to Kendrick

reports on findings in the records of the Society. There is no record of the panelling but the occupier of the chamber was one John Penhallo. In 1688 Penhallo was admitted to the chamber in which the panelling was erected (after the building which housed his earlier chamber was torn down). 1688 records show: "in consideration of the interest which he had in his old chamber before it was rebuilt and also of the money which he hath laid in rebuilding the same chamber". Penhallo himself paid for the rebuilt chamber. He died in 1716 and his brother, Benjamin Penhallo, was then admitted. Benjamin died in 1722.



Earliest records spell Penhallow with a "w"; it is omitted in later records.



1905 Correspondence from Booth

suggests that perhaps John and Benjamin Penhallow were brothers of Samuel Penhallow. He knows little of the descent from John Penhallow & Mary Penwain.



1905 Correspondence with Charles Penhallow of Boston

contains additional family history.
Historical context
Clifford's Inn, Fleet St, London was an Inn of Chancery, a college under the control of the Inner Temple. It consisted of a hall and chambers where students studied the Law from visiting lecturers before joining one of the Inns of Court. Its origins date back to 1310 when Robert de Clifford, fifth Baron Clifford was granted tenure of the suburban property by Edward II. Its most famous alumnus was Sir Edward Coke (d. 1634) whose great achievement was the foundation of English administrative law. After the civil war the Inns of Chancery declined as the system of legal education changed, and they became "little more than dining clubs", voluntary associations of lawyers presided over by an elected treasurer. Fellows were admitted to a set of chambers for life, or sometimes for one or two lives beyond their own, leading to the furnishing of chambers in a proprietorial, and comfortable fashion, as in the Museum's Clifford's Inn room set up in 1686 (check) for John Penhallow, panelling from which is on display in the British Galleries. Dickens mentions Clifford's Inn several times in his works, evoking atmospheric legal nooks of the Inner Temple, by which time the Inns of Chancery were effectively defunct. Clifford's Inn was damaged and rebuilt after the Great fire in 1666, but largely demolished in 1934, and replaced by an office block.

225



Clifford's Inn, Fleet St, was an Inn of Chancery, a college with hall and chambers where students studied the Law before joining one of the Inns of Court. The property was originally granted to Robert de Clifford, fifth Baron Clifford by Edward II in 1310. After the civil war the Inns of Chancery declined as the system of legal education changed, and they became "little more than dining clubs" for lawyers. Fellows were admitted to a set of chambers for life, which partly explains the high quality of the panelling from Clifford's Inn on display in the British Galleries. Dickens mentions Clifford's Inn several times in his works, evoking atmospheric legal nooks of the Inner Temple. Clifford's Inn was damaged and rebuilt after the Great fire in 1666, but largely demolished in 1934, and replaced by an office block.
Summary
Object Type
The chamber is panelled in oak with bolection mouldings (mouldings that project beyond the surface). It is decorated with cedarwood carving, and there is a semicircular (astragal) moulding along the entire cornice.Two doors are placed on each of the side walls (east and west). Before the room was removed to the Museum, there was a mullioned window of pinewood, with two pointed arches, in the north-west corner. This is recorded in a plan and watercolour of the room, both executed by Hanslip Fletcher (1874-1956) before the sale and demolition in 1903.

Time
The room was built between 1686 and 1688. Its moulding and carving are characteristic of English Baroque panelling and ornament of this date.

People
It was built for John Penhallow for a house at 3 Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street, London. The overmantel is surmounted with the coat of arms of the Penhallow family with that of the Penwaring family. This records the marriage of an earlier John Penhallow and Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Vivian Penwaring, in about 1500.
Associated Object
PDP.LOST.4 (Ensemble)
Bibliographic References
  • LONDON, Victoria & Albert Museum: The Panelled Rooms. 2. Clifford's Inn by Oliver Brackett. (London, 1914), See bibliography on p. 16
  • Simon Houfe, Delineator of Change: the London drawings of Hanslip Fletcher, in Country Life, January 18th 1973, pp.174-5 (fig. 2 showing the room, furnished, as occupied by Frederick Fenn, before its removal to the Museum)
  • Herbert Cescinsky & Ernest Gribble: Early English Furniture & Woodwork. Vols. I (London, 1922), pp. 329-348.
  • H.Avray Tipping, Grinling Gibbons and the woodwork of his age (1648 – 1720) (London, 1914), pp. 170-3 'The prevalence of rooms of this kind and, a few years later, of even higher quality as regards design and execution, is well shown by the example which reached the Victoria and Albert Museum a few years ago from Clifford's Inn (Fig. 166). It is sufficiently good to assume that it may be due to the direct oversight of Wren. In its modest way, indeed, it is as right and typical as the more sumptuous woodwork of St. Paul's and Hampton Court Palace. How good in proportion, how thoughtful in line, how elegant in detail, how clean in workmanship are the chimney-piece and doorways. The former, as the pre-eminent piece, is given a side to itself facing the two windows, and receives the most elaborate treatment. At the top, starting from the owner's coat-of-arms which it mantles, is carving of the Grinling Gibbons school, its individual fruits and flowers naturally carved, yet the whole piece ordered and disciplined into a decorative composition, which richly enshrines the broad panel where the choicest picture would hang. Below the shelf the same idea of enclosing a space—this time the hearth--is carried out in severer and more conventional scrollwork, while a broad moulding of crisp and nervous acanthus pattern ends the woodwork and frames the marble. The same acanthus treatment forms the chief detail of the cornice and of the architraves of two of the doorways (Fig. 167). Of these there are four—one pair with elaborate broken pediments, winged cupids' heads and enriched mouldings; the other pair with plain curved pediments and simpler detail. The former face each other centrally, while the latter occupy the less light and important point where the two sides join the window end. Beyond these five pieces the rest is simple. The large, raised panels, excellent in grain and texture, are the appropriate and restful background to the wrought work. Ample plain surface of balanced and satisfying proportions, relieved by ornament of such fine quality, yet restrained quantity, as to delight without wearying the eye—this, surely, is the highest aim of architectural design, and it is reached in no slight degree in this room. Actuated by what motive of art or of expense, of beauty or of vanity, a particular tenant of a set of rooms in Clifford's Inn clothed his bare walls with such elaborate workmanship we know not; but the personal touch of the carved coat-of-arms has revealed to us his identity. Far away in a remote corner of Cornwall the Fal estuary sweeps in a semicircle round the stretch of land which forms the parish of Philleigh. Here, on a small estate, was " seated," under Edward III, a certain John Penhalow de Penhalow, and here his descendants continued to be born, married and buried for four hundred years, as tombstone and register show. The scions of the lesser county families of Cornwall were an eager and adventurous race in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as witness the prevalence of " Tre, Pol and Pen " in our naval, political and legal history during those two hundred years. And so we find, in the records of Clifford's Inn, that a John Penhalow was, on the fifth day of February in the year 1674, admitted to a set of chambers in No. 3 building in that Inn. The spirit of rebuilding was then strong in London, even in such parts as the Great Fire had spared, and Clifford's Inn was not backward in the work. Together with others of its fellows, No. 3 began- to be re-edified in 1686, not, it would seem, wholly at the corporate expense, but partly also out of the privy purse of the members who tenanted the premises. Thus we read that in 1688, the new work being complete, John Penhalow was admitted to two sets of chambers in No. 3, not merely for his 'own life, but for two lives beyond, " in consideration of his interest in the old chamber, and of the [p.172] money he hath laid out in rebuilding the said chamber." For twenty-eight years John enjoyed his panels, and when he was no more his brother and executor, Benjamin, nominated himself as second life tenant, and was succeeded in 1722, for the third and last life interest, by John Rogers. As to him and any who followed as occupiers of the said chambers nothing can be said, except that they added coat upon coat of paint to the wainscoting, all of which it needed infinite pains to boil, burn and scrape off and out of the elaborate carvings when they passed into the possession of the museum. A few years ago it pleased the Benchers in their wisdom—or otherwise—to sell their freehold to some commercially minded purchasers, who held an- auction of any valuable movables, among which were included these panels. This became known to the museum, who sent representatives. A penknife soon revealed that the much-bedaubed wood was of oak, with cedar wood for the added carved work, and ultimately this lot was knocked down to the museum bidder for six hundred and six pounds seven shillings and sixpence. It was then that, in the desire to discover the history of the new purchase, the coat-of-arms attracted attention, and was found to be " Penhalow quartered with Penwarne." Penhalows were sought for. Extinct in Great Britain, they were found in America as the descendants of one Samuel Penhalow, who took ship .to New England in the very year (1086) when his cousin John was busy rebuilding No. 3, and it is to the research of Mr. C. J. Penhalow that we owe the information as to the "Penhalow Panels." Who ordered and paid for them is now clear enough, but the most interesting question of who designed and executed them remains unanswered. A comparison with the Governor's room at Chelsea Hospital (Fig. 173) may lead to the surmise that William Emmett was the carver. That John Penhalow was not alone in his day in fitting the Inns of Court with fine woodwork may be gathered from the Late Renaissance gates which are fitted into the central opening of the Elizabethan screen in the hall of the. Middle Temple (Fig. 1), and also from the mantel-piece (Fig. 165) in the Benchers' reading-room in the Inner Temple. The looking-glass which disfigured this mantel-piece, as it does that in the Chelsea room, has lately, been [p.173] replaced by a picture on the advice of Mr. Lutyens. The carvings are fine, and may well have come from Grinling Gibbons' workshop, although the present arrangement and grouping do not look original.
Collection
Accession Number
1029 to B-1903

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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