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Not currently on display at the V&A

Cabinet

1890-1891 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

George Jack trained as an architect but, like many of his contemporaries, he also designed furniture and furnishings and made a range of plaster reliefs and wood-carvings. Jack worked for Philip Webb, a friend of the designer William Morris, and architect of Morris's own home, Red House. This connection led to Jack receiving commissions to design pieces for Morris & Company, alongside his architectural work.

This cabinet was one of several pieces of furniture made specially as stage props for the first run of The Crusadersby Henry Arthur Jones at the Avenue Theatre in London in 1891. Morris & Company were credited in the programme, which also requested 'the indulgence of the audience' between acts as 'the stage is small and the scenery rather elaborate'. Henry Arthur Jones kept the cabinet after the play's run had ended, using it to store books and manuscripts.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 8 parts.

  • Cabinet
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Shelf
  • Shelf
  • Shelf
  • Keys
Materials and Techniques
Mahogany, inlaid with sycamore, ebony and other woods; glass; brass
Brief Description
mahogany with inlaid decoration in sycamore, ebony and other woods, glass doors and brass handles; designed by George Jack and made by Morris & Co., British 1891.
Physical Description
The cabinet is formed of an upper and lower section. The upper section has a flat top and straight cornice with a narrow line of banding above three recesses, each with a cupboard concealed behind a falling front, and three drawers, each originally fitted with two brass handles, below the recesses. Wide lines of banding run above and below the drawers, the lower banding continuing around the canted corners to the back of the cabinet. The drawer fronts, and corners of the upper section, are veneered with a pattern of stylised flower heads in ebony and white wood alternately, the same pattern in a larger scale decorating the sides of this upper section.



The lower section has three cupboards, each with a keyhole and a glazed door with diamond-shaped glazing bars, above a deep plinth with two three-sided front posts and two square section back posts and shaped feet at each corner. The front and sides of the plinth are decorated with a pattern of large leaves alternating with flowers heads, with a narrow band of black and white banding underneath. The sides of the lower section are decorated with a pattern of large scale leaves and seed heads. The front posts are inlaid with a stylised pattern of pairs of leaves, facing left and right, placed one above the other and joined by a diamond shape. A small stylised leaf and flower head motif are inlaid into each front foot. Narrow black and white banding runs across the top, down the sides and in between the three doors, the frames of which are veneered in plain mahogany.
Dimensions
  • Height: 152.5cm
  • Width: 206cm
  • Depth: 61cm
Measurements taken from object, Max Donnelly, 14/04/2021
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'Morris & Co./449 Oxford Street/612' (Stamped inside centre drawer)
Object history
This cabinet was designed and made as a piece of stage furniture for a satirical comedy, The Crusaders, by Henry Arthur Jones, staged in November 1891. After the play closed Jones used the cabinet for his collection of plays and Kelmscott books. The cabinet was given to the Museum by his daughter, Mrs Doris Thorne, after his death in 1929.



In 1971-1976 this cabinet was on display in the Green Dining Room in the Museum. This room was originally decorated by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in 1866.
Summary
George Jack trained as an architect but, like many of his contemporaries, he also designed furniture and furnishings and made a range of plaster reliefs and wood-carvings. Jack worked for Philip Webb, a friend of the designer William Morris, and architect of Morris's own home, Red House. This connection led to Jack receiving commissions to design pieces for Morris & Company, alongside his architectural work.



This cabinet was one of several pieces of furniture made specially as stage props for the first run of The Crusadersby Henry Arthur Jones at the Avenue Theatre in London in 1891. Morris & Company were credited in the programme, which also requested 'the indulgence of the audience' between acts as 'the stage is small and the scenery rather elaborate'. Henry Arthur Jones kept the cabinet after the play's run had ended, using it to store books and manuscripts.
Collection
Accession Number
W.42:1 to 8-1929

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record createdJanuary 13, 2006
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