Bookcase

1806 (made)
Bookcase thumbnail 1
Bookcase thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Tall bookcases with solid doors in the bottom half and glazed doors in the upper section were quite common in British furniture of around 1800. This example is unusual in that it is low, decorated with Classical busts and inlaid with ebony.

Places
The Prince of Wales (later King George IV) was given Carlton House as his official London residence in 1783. He began a programme of building and decoration which continued until the demolition of the house in 1826. As the site sloped, the building contained rooms with low ceilings, including the library, below the principal floor on the garden front. In 1806 the library was provided with new furniture at a cost of £820 3s, which included a set of ebony and ivory bookcases with matching tables, and four of these bookcases.

People
William Marsh (active 1775-1810) and Thomas Tatham (1763-1818) were partners in a very successful firm of cabinetmakers and upholsterers. They carried out major commissions for the Prince of Wales at Brighton Pavilion and at Carlton House. C. H. Tatham (1772-1842), brother of Thomas, was sent to Rome by the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) in 1794 to collect Classical fragments. Tatham's drawings of these, published as Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture in 1799-1800, provided designers and craftsmen with ideas for furniture and other pieces in the Neo-classical style.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 7 parts.

  • Bookcase, Lower Section
  • Bookcase, Upper Section
  • Marble Slab, Part
  • Marble Slab, Part
  • Shelf
  • Lower Shelf
  • Keys
Materials and Techniques
Burr yew veneer, mahogany and pine, inlaid with ebony, with marble top, bronze busts and ormolu (gilt-bronze) mounts; replacement silk panels to doors
Brief Description
Bookcase, Marsh & Tatham for Carlton House, English; 1806
Physical Description
Bookcase; pollard yew inlaid with ebony, bronze, and ormolu mounts; statuary marble slab.
Dimensions
  • Height: 176.5cm
  • Width: 111cm
  • Depth: 54.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Inventory mark of George IV; inscribed 'No. 1'
Gallery Label
BOOKCASE ENGLISH; 1806 Pollard yew inlaid with ebony, bronze, and ormolu mounts; statuary marble slab. Supplied in 1806 by Marsh and Tatham of Mount Street for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House, and bearing the inventory mark of George IV.(pre October 2000)
Object history
This bookcase, in the Greek style, was made for the library of Carlton House, London, the home of the Prince of Wales, later the Prince Regent. The furniture was supplied by the firm of William Marsh and Thomas Tatham, possibly to designs by Charles HeathcoteTatham, William's brother, who published an influential book of Classical designs in 1799.
Summary
Object Type
Tall bookcases with solid doors in the bottom half and glazed doors in the upper section were quite common in British furniture of around 1800. This example is unusual in that it is low, decorated with Classical busts and inlaid with ebony.

Places
The Prince of Wales (later King George IV) was given Carlton House as his official London residence in 1783. He began a programme of building and decoration which continued until the demolition of the house in 1826. As the site sloped, the building contained rooms with low ceilings, including the library, below the principal floor on the garden front. In 1806 the library was provided with new furniture at a cost of £820 3s, which included a set of ebony and ivory bookcases with matching tables, and four of these bookcases.

People
William Marsh (active 1775-1810) and Thomas Tatham (1763-1818) were partners in a very successful firm of cabinetmakers and upholsterers. They carried out major commissions for the Prince of Wales at Brighton Pavilion and at Carlton House. C. H. Tatham (1772-1842), brother of Thomas, was sent to Rome by the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) in 1794 to collect Classical fragments. Tatham's drawings of these, published as Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture in 1799-1800, provided designers and craftsmen with ideas for furniture and other pieces in the Neo-classical style.
Collection
Accession Number
W.102:1 to 7-1978

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdApril 2, 2001
Record URL