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Design for a dressing table
  • Design for a dressing table
    Burges, William A.R.A., born 1827 - died 1881
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Design for a dressing table

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1855 - 1881 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Burges, William A.R.A., born 1827 - died 1881 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen, pencil, and watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case 93, shelf E, box 8

William Burges began designing furniture early in his career, in the mid-1850s, and continued until his death in 1881. Generally heavy, sculptural, extensively carved, and with medieval decorations, his furniture stood out in the 19th century particularly for its unique application of painted decoration. Following a medieval fashion of design, Burges applied painted decoration to his furniture to correspond to greater painted schemes on surrounding walls and ceilings. He displayed a number of such painted pieces at the International Exhibition of 1862 in the Medieval Court. Despite receiving mixed reviews for his use of colours, decorative subjects, and carpentry at this early date, Burges’ furniture proved very popular in succeeding decades. He continued to design in this bold fusion of Pre-Raphaelitism and the Gothic Revival the duration of his career.

Physical description

Pen, pencil and watercolour drawing of a vanity on paper. Front, side, and back views in a 2" scale are included. The front view on the left shows 2 hollow drawers and an assortment of 6 rectangular and circle mirrors. The side view in the center includes a depiction of a mosaic on the wall above. The back view reveals a hidden drawer and small mirrors in a circular design.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1855 - 1881 (made)


Burges, William A.R.A., born 1827 - died 1881 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Pen, pencil, and watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'This drawing is not like the work [ill.]'
Inscribed in the top left corner.


Width: 47.5 cm, Length: 29.5 cm

Descriptive line

William Burges. Design for a mirrored vanity stand. English, ca. 1885 - 1881.


Black pen; Pencil; Watercolour; Paper



Subjects depicted



Designs; Furniture; Drawings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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