Pair of tripods

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed and manufactured by William Bullock (1773-1849) & George Bullock (1782/83-1818)

  • Provenance

    Supplied to Samuel Day Junior, Hinton House, Hinton Charterhouse, near Bath; ThomasJones, Hinton House, by 1848; the Robertson-Glasgow family, Hinton House, thence by descent.

  • Literature

    Marin Levy, ‘The Roman Gallery at the Egyptian hall, Piccadilly, and Some Tripods by William Bullock and George Bullock’, Furniture History, XXXIII (1997), pp. 229-39

  • Collection

    National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside

  • Notes

    These tripod stands are the first objects to be identified showing a working relationship between George Bullock (1782/3-1818) and his elder brother William.

    The stands were invoiced by George Bullock on 18 June 1814 and in his ‘Statement’ dated 28 December 1814 they are described as ‘2 bronzed Griffin Tripods…18-18’ with ‘2 circular d° Pedestals to stand upon / the same Height as the Plinth of Cabinet 4-4’. The present location of the cabinet is not known.

    Although William protected the design of the iron legs under the so-called Garrard Act (1798), the overall design of the stands should be ascribed to George. There is considerable evidence of George Bullock’s use of metal supports for tables and stands. This is to be found in the ‘Tracings by Thomas Wilkinson from the Designs of the late Mr George Bullock 1820’ (known as the Wilkinson Tracings) and from the two workshop sales held in 1819 after his death. Several undocumented tables and stands survive with the same form of legs as the Hinton House stands; some of these probably date to the 1820s and later.

    The present stands appear, to date, to represent the earliest documented use of cast-iron for sophisticated, high style furniture.  The 1805 registercd legs pre-date, by two decades, the first furniture designed by Karl Fricdrich Schinkel for the Royal Iron Foundry, Berlin.