Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 122

Bread Board

1847 (designed), 1865 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This wooden breadboard with appropriate decorative carving is an example of Victorian ingenuity in reviving old designs to facilitate a domestic task.

Trading
Cole's memoirs, Fifty Years of Public Life (1884), explain all the frustrations of attempting to interest manufacturers in this design, which is by John Bell (1811-1895). Such a task was obviously made easier if the same manufacturer made both board and bread knife, so Cole showed Bell's plaster model to Joseph Rodgers & Son, the cutlery manufacturers of Sheffield. They produced a version which they said would have to retail at the uncommercial price of £4 4s (£4.20). By having another board made in London, Cole demonstrated that the design could be made and retailed for £3 3s (£3.15). The second attempt by Rodgers produced a board that could be sold for £2 2s (£2.10). This example of board and bread knife was bought from Rodgers in 1865 for £1 16s (£1.80) .

Materials
This design was also available in porcelain at various prices, made by Minton & Co., and could also be fitted with an electro-plated rim, made by Benjamin Smith, a London silversmith. Examples of all three types were shown in the Exhibition of Recent British Manufactures organised by Cole at the Royal Society of Arts, London, in 1848.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Limewood, carved
Brief Description
English, 1865, John Bell, Rodgers & Son, Sheffield
Dimensions
  • Height: 3cm
  • Diameter: 35cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 24/05/1999 by LH
Gallery Label
British Galleries: BREAD BOARD AND KNIFE
Henry Cole experienced difficulty in putting many of the designs he commissioned into production. The manufacturers he approached to make this breadboard thought it was uncommercial and expensive. Cole persevered, and later claimed that through his success he had revived the use of wooden bread platters or trenchers. He established a new branch of industry at Sheffield and created a demand for an ordinary domestic object that continues to this day.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Designed by John Bell (born in Hepton, Suffolk, 1811, died in London, 1895) for Felix Summerly's Art Manufactures; made in Sheffield, by Joseph Rodgers & Sons
Summary
Object Type
This wooden breadboard with appropriate decorative carving is an example of Victorian ingenuity in reviving old designs to facilitate a domestic task.

Trading
Cole's memoirs, Fifty Years of Public Life (1884), explain all the frustrations of attempting to interest manufacturers in this design, which is by John Bell (1811-1895). Such a task was obviously made easier if the same manufacturer made both board and bread knife, so Cole showed Bell's plaster model to Joseph Rodgers & Son, the cutlery manufacturers of Sheffield. They produced a version which they said would have to retail at the uncommercial price of £4 4s (£4.20). By having another board made in London, Cole demonstrated that the design could be made and retailed for £3 3s (£3.15). The second attempt by Rodgers produced a board that could be sold for £2 2s (£2.10). This example of board and bread knife was bought from Rodgers in 1865 for £1 16s (£1.80) .

Materials
This design was also available in porcelain at various prices, made by Minton & Co., and could also be fitted with an electro-plated rim, made by Benjamin Smith, a London silversmith. Examples of all three types were shown in the Exhibition of Recent British Manufactures organised by Cole at the Royal Society of Arts, London, in 1848.
Collection
Accession Number
444-1865

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL