Not currently on display at the V&A

Sketch of a writing desk and mirror, Gwaynynog

Drawing
ca. 1903-4 (drawn)
Artist/Maker

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three Original Peter Rabbit Books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.

From childhood, Beatrix Potter delighted in studying and sketching the old furniture and oak-paneled rooms of the houses she visited. From 1903 Potter made a number of visits to Gwaynynog in Denbighshire, the home of her uncle, who spent his large cotton fortune collecting mahogany furniture (including the eighteenth-century writing desk shown in this drawing) to enhance the oak furnishings of the house. Her uncle’s ‘perfect taste’ inspired Potter’s own interest in furniture; she later remembered the oak-paneled rooms and fine furniture of Gwaynynog very fondly.

After purchasing her first Lake District property, Hill Top, in 1905, Potter took a keen interest in furnishing the house with family furniture from London and oak furniture purchased at local sales. The interior of the house inspired some of her book illustrations, particularly those for The Tale of Samuel Whiskers (Frederick Warne, 1908). Potter’s interest in furniture continued long after her retirement from writing and illustrating children’s books, when she dedicated much time to buying and restoring Lakeland farmhouses and furniture, leaving fourteen farms and twenty houses to the National Trust upon her death in 1943.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink with pencil on paper
Brief Description
Pen and ink with pencil drawing of a writing desk and mirror at Gwaynynog, by Beatrix Potter, about 1903-4; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.489.
Physical Description
Sketch of a writing desk and mirror.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 265mm
  • Sheet width: 195mm
Style
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
(Watermark: 'Aviemore')
Credit line
Linder Bequest [plus object number; written on labels on the same line as the object number]
Object history
Drawn by Beatrix Potter at Gwaynynog, about 1903-4. Acquired by the V&A from Leslie Linder (1904-1973) in 1973 as part of the Linder Bequest, a collection of ca. 2150 watercolours, drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, and other memorabilia associated with Beatrix Potter and her family.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three Original Peter Rabbit Books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.



From childhood, Beatrix Potter delighted in studying and sketching the old furniture and oak-paneled rooms of the houses she visited. From 1903 Potter made a number of visits to Gwaynynog in Denbighshire, the home of her uncle, who spent his large cotton fortune collecting mahogany furniture (including the eighteenth-century writing desk shown in this drawing) to enhance the oak furnishings of the house. Her uncle’s ‘perfect taste’ inspired Potter’s own interest in furniture; she later remembered the oak-paneled rooms and fine furniture of Gwaynynog very fondly.



After purchasing her first Lake District property, Hill Top, in 1905, Potter took a keen interest in furnishing the house with family furniture from London and oak furniture purchased at local sales. The interior of the house inspired some of her book illustrations, particularly those for The Tale of Samuel Whiskers (Frederick Warne, 1908). Potter’s interest in furniture continued long after her retirement from writing and illustrating children’s books, when she dedicated much time to buying and restoring Lakeland farmhouses and furniture, leaving fourteen farms and twenty houses to the National Trust upon her death in 1943.

Bibliographic Reference
Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection : the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material : watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985.p.52; no.489Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection: the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material: watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985. p.52; no.489
Other Number
LB.489 - Linder Bequest catalogue no.
Collection
Library Number
BP.1160

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record createdMarch 9, 2017
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