Chest thumbnail 1
Chest thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Chest

1861-1862 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

It is likely that this chest was the one shown by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in the Medieval Court at the London International Exhibition of 1862. This exhibition was the first time that the firm had displayed its work. Webb’s 1862 accounts list a chest with ironwork, possibly this one, as costing £1 10s.

The chest’s Gothic form and painted decoration show Webb’s interest in medieval sources. The regular painted pattern of formalised daisies recalls the backgrounds of miniatures in medieval manuscripts. Even the way in which this pattern was applied, using sliver leaf, glazes and tinted varnishes, was an unusual medieval technique, also revived by another nineteenth-century furniture designer, William Burges.

On loan to National Trust Knightshayes Court.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Chest
  • Key
Materials and techniques
Wood (probably pine), with silver leaf, glazed and painted with tinted varnishes; wrought iron mounts
Brief description
Chest, made by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, London, 1861-2, of wood (probably pine) with silver leaf
Physical description
A painted coffer, the rectangular top above a panelled frieze and sides, the top painted red and heavily clasped with pierced and studded wrought-iron locks and mounts and lock, the frieze painted with stylised flowers and circles within a square trellis on a gilt and silvered ground.
Dimensions
  • Height: 53.3cm
  • Width: 132cm
  • Depth: 51.2cm
Style
Gallery label
CHEST ENGLISH (London); about 1862 Wood with silvered and painted decoration and wrought iron mounts; the interior painted Indian red. Although undocumented, this chest may be attributed on stylistic grounds to the circle of William Morris. It may be identical with a chest designed by Philip Webb in 1861, and may also be the chest mentioned among the Morris & Co. exhibits at the London 1862 exhibition. The silvered finish, probably produced by zinc, reflects the influence of William Burges's Yatman Cabinet of 1858, shown in Room 188.(pre October 2000)
Object history
Although this cabinet had no provenance when acquired in 1978, the Gothic form, painted design and decorative technique suggest that it was the chest exhibited by Morris, Marshall, Faulker & Co. in the Medieval Court at the 1862 Exhibition. A review of the firm's furniture in The Parthenon, No. 23, October 4th 1862, p. 724, mentioned 'a lacquered chest', described as having 'diaper-flower decorations'. Philip Webb's accounts for the 1862 furniture designs included a chest with ironwork, at £1 10s (£1 50p).

The decoration on the painted panels was created using silver leaf, glazes and tinted varnishes, a medieval technique revived by Burges for the Yatman cabinet of 1858, and also found on the St. George cabinet. The source, Theophilus's De diversis artibus, an 11th century treatise, was published in English in 1847 by John Murray as An Essay upon Various Arts.
Summary
It is likely that this chest was the one shown by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in the Medieval Court at the London International Exhibition of 1862. This exhibition was the first time that the firm had displayed its work. Webb’s 1862 accounts list a chest with ironwork, possibly this one, as costing £1 10s.

The chest’s Gothic form and painted decoration show Webb’s interest in medieval sources. The regular painted pattern of formalised daisies recalls the backgrounds of miniatures in medieval manuscripts. Even the way in which this pattern was applied, using sliver leaf, glazes and tinted varnishes, was an unusual medieval technique, also revived by another nineteenth-century furniture designer, William Burges.

On loan to National Trust Knightshayes Court.
Collection
Accession number
W.35-1978

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Record createdApril 2, 2001
Record URL
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