Ref: 1333
  • Designer

    The design attributed to E.W. Godwin (1833-86)

  • Detail

    Satinwood, with apparently hand drawn and stencilled penwork decoration

    71.1 cm x 41.2 x 41.2 cm

    English, circa 1875

  • Notes

    The chaste form and detailing of this table’s design, and similar features found on his drawings, led Susan Weber Soros plausibly to attribute a rosewood and amboyna [?] topped version of this table to Godwin, and further suggested Collinson & Lock (1870-97) as maker (see The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin, New Haven and London, 1999, no. 221).

    The unusual, and indeed unique, feature of the present example is the stencilled and drawn decoration.  The central motif depicts acorns within a framework of four geometric ‘modern gothic’ panels, embellished with reserves of acorns and mistletoe.  The borders depict scenes representing hunting: dogs, huntsmen and stags. The lower shelf is centred by what appears to be a portrait of a particular dog.

    Godwin’s friend, the gothic architect-designer William Burges (1827-81), owned the so-called ‘Dog cabinet’ (1869) on which Charles Rossiter (1827-97) painted with sentimental images of Burges’s dogs (see J. Mordaunt Crook, William Burges and the High Victorian Dream, London, 1981, fig. 193). Mistletoe, a parasitic plant that notably thrives on oak trees, is revered in Druid culture, where it is cut down during the ceremony to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

    Sadly, there is no evidence that Godwin was a dog-lover, nor that he was interested in Druids.