Bracket (One of a Pair) thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54

Bracket (One of a Pair)

ca. 1730 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This bracket and its pair (museum no. W.1A-1988) are mentioned in the 1740 inventory of the contents of Tottenham Park, described as 'ten poettes heads on painted and gilt brackets (one ditto of Mr. Pope)'.

Design
They are carved in imitation of stone and enriched with water gilding. The upper edge of the plinth has a cyma reversa moulding - that is a moulding that is convex in its upper part and concave below. The plinths are supported by scroll-shaped brackets decorated with a bead and reel moulding flanked by outward-facing cyma reversa borders. The C-scroll pendant frames an acanthus leaf.

Materials & Making
Water gilding gives a particularly bright and shiny effect, unlike oil gilding which is duller. In water gilding, the base coat (a reddish clay known as 'bole') is moistened with water before the gold leaf is applied. When the work is dry the gold is burnished with a special tool.

People
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, was the chief proponent of the Palladian style. He designed Tottenham Park, Wiltshire, from 1721, adding four corner pavilions in 1738. The house belonged to Charles, Viscount Bruce who had married Burlington's sister, Juliana, in 1719. It was Burlington's first architectural commission and launched his career as an architect.

The interior furnishings were designed by William Kent.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted and gilded softwood
Brief Description
Bracket of painted and gilded wood, of scrolling console form. Designed by William Kent for Tottenham Park, Wiltshire, 1729-1732.
Physical Description
Wall bracket, one of a pair (and originally of a larger set), of carved softwood, painted and gilded, the bracket in the form of a scrolled console, supporting a square shelf.
Dimensions
  • Height: 60.96cm
  • Width: 35.56cm
  • Depth: 26.67cm
Dimensions checked: Registered Description; 19/01/1998 by KN
Gallery Label
W.1&a-1988 PAIR OF BRACKETS ENGLISH; about 1730 Painted and gilded wood From Tottenham Park, Wiltshire. The house was designed for Charles Lord Bruce from 1721 by Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington (1694-1753). The brackets may well have been designed by his close friend and collaborator William Kent (c.1685-1748). An inventory of about 1740 lists in Lord Bruce's study 'ten poettes heads on painted and gilt brackets'. Purchased by the Brigadier Clark Fund through the National Art-Collections Fund.(pre October 2000)
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the Brigadier Clark Fund through Art Fund
Object history
Designed by William Kent (born in Bridlington, Yorkshire, 1685, died in London, 1748) and almost certainly made in London. Susan Weber (see ref, 2013) discusses them in relation to other brackets designed by Kent. They were made for Tottenham Park, Wiltshire, 1729-1732 and recorded in Tottenham's 1740 inventory as among '10 Poetts heads on painted and gilt bracketts one Ditto of Mr. Pope' in the study of Lord Bruce'.
Summary
Object Type
This bracket and its pair (museum no. W.1A-1988) are mentioned in the 1740 inventory of the contents of Tottenham Park, described as 'ten poettes heads on painted and gilt brackets (one ditto of Mr. Pope)'.

Design
They are carved in imitation of stone and enriched with water gilding. The upper edge of the plinth has a cyma reversa moulding - that is a moulding that is convex in its upper part and concave below. The plinths are supported by scroll-shaped brackets decorated with a bead and reel moulding flanked by outward-facing cyma reversa borders. The C-scroll pendant frames an acanthus leaf.

Materials & Making
Water gilding gives a particularly bright and shiny effect, unlike oil gilding which is duller. In water gilding, the base coat (a reddish clay known as 'bole') is moistened with water before the gold leaf is applied. When the work is dry the gold is burnished with a special tool.

People
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, was the chief proponent of the Palladian style. He designed Tottenham Park, Wiltshire, from 1721, adding four corner pavilions in 1738. The house belonged to Charles, Viscount Bruce who had married Burlington's sister, Juliana, in 1719. It was Burlington's first architectural commission and launched his career as an architect.

The interior furnishings were designed by William Kent.
Associated Object
W.1A-1988 (Pair)
Bibliographic Reference
Weber, Susan, 'Kent and the Georgian Baroque Style in Furniture: Domestic Commisions', in Susan Weber (ed.), William Kent. Designing Georgian Britain (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, published for the Bard Center, New York, 2013, to accompany the exhibition of the same name held at the Bard Center, New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2013-2014), pp. 469-526, illustrated p. 508. fig. 18.56 and discussed p. 509.
Collection
Accession Number
W.1-1988

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record createdJune 11, 2001
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