Designer / Maker
The manufacture attributed to Hart, Son, Peard & Co. (1842-1913)
Brass, mounted with onyx, and embellished with encaustic enamel
166 cm x 72 cm (width of book rest)
English, circa 1870
Probably supplied to George H.R.C.W. Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry (1821-84), for the chapel at Wynyard Park, County Durham, and then by descent
Records in the Londonderry papers show that regular work was carried out on the chapel at Wynyard Park during the nineteenth century. For example, ‘alterations’ were undertaken in 1871, and James Brooks (1825-1901) was working there in 1881-83. The lectern was certainly installed before 1886 when it is recorded in an inventory as a ‘very handsome brass lectern with onyx mounts surmounted by an eagle’.
The attribution to Hart, Son, Peard & Co. is based on a comparison with details on a lectern, now at Gloucester Cathedral; see Victorian Church Art, London, 1971, J 1. The Gloucester lectern, designed by John Francis Bentley (1839-1902) was shown by the firm at the London International Exhibition, 1862; see J.B. Waring, Masterpieces of industrial Art & Sculpture at the International Exhibition, 1862 (London, 1863), III, pl. 233. Particular note should be made of the ‘ball and claw’ feet, which are quite different in character from those found, for example, on lecterns by John Hardman & Co.
Another lectern that would seem to confirm the attribution to Hart, Son & Peard is the one shown at the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1867; see The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, 1868, p. 259.
Hart, Son, Peard & Co., who exhibited at many of the nineteenth century’s World’s Fairs, were based in London and Birmingham. The firm advertised as: ‘makers of … Lecterns, Altar Rails, Screens…’ (see advertisement, right). Among the great gothic architects who designed for the firm were William Butterfield (1814-1900) and John Pollard Seddon (1827-1906). Brooks also had work executed by the firm; see Victorian Church Art, G 30. In the absence of firm evidence it is not, at present, possible to attribute the design of the lectern to a particular individual.