Design for a pier-glass from; A Miscellaneous Collection of Original Designs, made, and for the most part executed, during an extensive Practice of many years in the first line of his Profession, by John Linnell, Upholsterer Carver & Cabinet Maker. Selected from his Portfolios at his Decease, by C. H. Tatham Architect. AD 1800.

Drawing
late 18th century (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This design by John Linnell displays the rococo style, which became popular around 1730, characterised by curvaceous asymmetrical forms and natural decoration. The large leafy form is used by Linnell to surmount several other designs for pier-glasses.

Pier-glasses were a popular form of 18th century furnishing and were commonly placed on the wall in between two windows (known as the pier wall). Extremely elaborate pier-glasses, such as the ones designed by John Linnell, were often used to emphasise the grandeur of a wealthy household. They were also important sources of light during the 18th century and they would reflect the light from candles back into the room. Pier-glasses of this design could have been used within state rooms such as drawing rooms (where other rococo-inspired furniture would be placed) as well as the more private rooms of the household.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
pencil, pen and ink and wash
Brief Description
Design for a pier-glass in pen and ink and wash, from a volume of designs for furniture, interior decoration and architectural fittings, by John Linnell, Great Britain, late 18th century
Physical Description
A design for a pier-glass in pencil, pen and ink and wash. The top of the frame is shaped similarly to the roof of a pagoda and is surmounted by a large, curved, leafy form. Floral festoons and another curved frame are situated on top of the mirror glass. Naturalistic forms are incorporated into the frame. The frame terminates at the bottom with a central decorative apron. One of a set of designs for furniture, including chairs and state beds, interior decoration, including pier glasses, and architectural fittings including chimney pieces and doors. In a volume.
Dimensions
  • Height: 17.8cm
  • Width: 10.2cm
Style
Subjects depicted
Summary
This design by John Linnell displays the rococo style, which became popular around 1730, characterised by curvaceous asymmetrical forms and natural decoration. The large leafy form is used by Linnell to surmount several other designs for pier-glasses.



Pier-glasses were a popular form of 18th century furnishing and were commonly placed on the wall in between two windows (known as the pier wall). Extremely elaborate pier-glasses, such as the ones designed by John Linnell, were often used to emphasise the grandeur of a wealthy household. They were also important sources of light during the 18th century and they would reflect the light from candles back into the room. Pier-glasses of this design could have been used within state rooms such as drawing rooms (where other rococo-inspired furniture would be placed) as well as the more private rooms of the household.

Associated Object
E.192-1929 (Design)
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1929, London: Board of Education, 1930.
Collection
Accession Number
E.208-1929

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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