Side-Table

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by Bruce J. Talbert (1838-81)

    Manufactured by Holland & Sons (1843-1942)

  • Detail

    Oak inlaid with ebony, walnut, boxwood, purplewood and holly

    120 x 214 x 59.9 cm

    English (London), circa 1867

  • Marked

    ‘HOLLAND & SONS’ stamped twice under the top front rail

  • Provenance

    Probably with the Furness family at Cundall Manor, near Thirsk; the Collins family; by descent at Cundall Manor.

  • Literature

    B.J. Talbert, Gothic Forms Applied to Furniture Metal Work and Decoration for Domestic Purposes… (London, 1867), pl. 2, the design

    The ‘DINING-ROOM SIDE-TABLE; illustrated as pl. 2 in Gothic Forms was ‘Exhibited in Paris Exhibition of 1867’; it appears to be about a third smaller than the present example

  • Collection

    Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • Notes

    It was one of five gothic pieces exhibited by Holland & Sons in Paris and is recorded in their Day Book as ‘A side table to correspond. 3 tier high’ (Archive of Art & Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1867, K-Q, 759V). The piece with which it corresponded was the ‘Pericles’ sideboard (Christie’s, London, 22 January 1986, lot 26; now in a Metropolitan Museum of Art). The sideboard shown on the right of an ‘INTERIOR VIEW OF DINING-ROOM’ in pl. 11 of Gothic Forms is a variant of the present ‘side-table’. The ‘Tennyson’ sideboard exhibited by Holland & Sons at the 1867 Exposition Universelle is in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    As Fig. 40 in his Principles of Decorative Design (London, 1873), Christopher Dresser illustrates the end elevation of the ‘sideboard’ (Gothic Forms, pl. 2) and commends it in the text: ‘Mark the simplicity of the structure the leading structural lines are straight and obvious.'(p.58).

    A ‘side-table’, the same proportion as the one illustrated in Gothic Forms, was supplied by Holland & Sons to R.N. Thomas to R.N. Thornton of Knowle Cottage, near Sidmouth, Devon (see R.W. Symonds and B.B. Whineray, Victorian Furniture, London, 1962, figs. 58 and 59).

    The Thornton ‘side-table’ was sold at Christie’s, London, 18 June 1968 [?], lot 333; this was acquired in 2011 from Blairman’s for a private collection. A smaller and simpler variant of this Talbert ‘side-table’, stamped by Holland & Sons, formerly in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is in a private collection.