Table thumbnail 1
Table thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A


1852 (made)
Place of origin

An octagonal table, inlaid with walnut in a gothic design.

Object details

Object type
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Table Top
  • Table Base
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Table, English, 1852, probably designed by A.W.N. Pugin and made by Crace and Son, from Abney Hall
Physical description
An octagonal table, inlaid with walnut in a gothic design.
  • Height: 77.51cm
  • Diameter: 165.1cm
Gallery label
TABLE ENGLISH; 1853 Oak with marquetry of various woods Designed by A.W.N. Pugin (1812-1852) Made by J.G. Crace (1809-1889), London This octagonal table is a slightly simplified version of that shown in the Medieval Court of the Exhibition of 1851, for which Pugin's designs survive in the Department of Prints and Drawings. The Museum's table was made as part of the elaborate furnishings of Abney Hall, Cheshire, supplied by Crace in the early 1850s, some of which still survive in situ.(pre October 2000)
Object history
In 'The Builder' of 1851 is an illustration of the Mediaeval Court of the Great Exhibition which includes table illustrations. Pugin's 'Gothic Furniture' of 1835 had included a design for an 'Octagon Table', but the form of its legs is completley different; however among the items advertised by J.G. Crace in his July 1851 advertisement, were 'Octagon Library Tables', so it would seem that similar examples were produced. The illustrated London News neatly documents the contemporary impact of the table; 'Immediately in front of the sideboard was a large octagonal table, executed in walnut-tree. The frame and stand were designed on the strongest constructional principles, and its enrichments were only adjuncts to the necessary framing. The top was elaborately inlaid with with woods of various colours, and fully proved the applicability of mediaeval designs and decorations to every want of the present age. The general effect had all the richness of marqueterie, with purer forms, and a more pleasing combination of colours'. Designs for the table and variant designs are in the Museum.
Bibliographic references
  • Messers Brady & Sons, 'Catalogue of the contents of Abney Hall, Cheadle, Chesire, to be sold at auction, 1958', p.79.
  • 'Builder', IX, 1851, p.473.
  • Illustrated London News, 20 September 1851, p.362.
  • Elfrida Mostyn, Abbbey Hall, Chesire -II, Country Life, 133, 1963, p.911.
  • 'Marquetry in the Medieval Court: The Octagonal Tables of Pugin and Crace', by Dr Megan Aldrich, The Decorative Arts Society Journal, no. 25, 2001: Decorative Art: Exhibitions and Celebrations, pp.48-58.
  • Elizabeth Aslin, Nineteenth-Century English Furniture (London, Faber, 1962), fig.38.
Accession number

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Record createdJanuary 24, 2001
Record URL
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