Dining table

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed and manufactured by Peter Waals (1870-1937)

  • Detail

    Walnut, with chequered border

    77 x 97 x 158 cm (closed)

    77 x 97 x 234 cm (open)

    English (Chalford), 1930s

  • Provenance

    Arthur Mitchell (1873-1965), Glenfall House, Charlton Kings; […]; Mallams (Oxford). 5-6 December 2019, lot 255; art market 2019-2021; acquired 2021

  • Note

    Like much of the furniture manufactured by Peter Waals, the present table shows a debt to Ernest Gimson.  The shaped legs are familiar on furniture by both designers.  An example of a drawing for a table by Gimson with octagonal legs and square feet is in the collection of The Wilson, Cheltenham (1941.222:399).

    The overall form of the present table can be compared to one designed by Gimson for G.F.B. de Gruchy, also at The Wilson (1941.202:423).

    In 1854 Arthur Mitchell’s grandfather Henry founded a business at the Crown Inn, Smethwick.  In 1866 Arthur’s father, also Henry, established a brewery next door. Then, in 1888, the Midlands-based business became Henry Mitchell & Co. Ltd, before taking over Butler’s Crown Brewery in 1898, becoming Mitchells and Butlers.

    Arthur Mitchell (portrait, private collection, image courtesy of Mallams) was a customer of Ernest Gimson and Sidney Barnsley.  Following Gimson’s death in 1919, Mitchell was amongst those who supported his workshop manager Peter Waals when he moved from Daneway to set up his own workshop at Chalford.

    In 1920 Glenfall House, Charlton Kings was purchased by Arthur Mitchell.  The house, which Mitchell enlarged, had been rebuilt in 1808 for the then owner Charles Higgs.  Mitchell employed Sidney Barnsley, Norman Jewson and Peter Waals to extend and furnish the house, and to create the terraced gardens to the west of the house, with the orchard beyond.  The house remained in Mitchell’s ownership until 1965, after which much of the Arts & Crafts furniture that he had commissioned was sold.  The auction was held by Young and Gilling of Cheltenham, 24-25 November 1965.*  Furniture has subsequently been sold by descendants.

    At the time of its disposal, ten items were acquired by the Cheltenham Museum & Art Gallery (now The Wilson); these include chairs, tables, a sideboard, and a cabinet.  Since then, further Mitchell pieces have been acquired for the collection.

    *We have made enquiries and are hopeful that we shall be able to consult the catalogue