Table

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by William Burges (1827-81)

  • Detail

    Walnut and satinwood, with other inlays; tinned metal handles

    28 3/4 in (73.1 cm) x 40 1/8 in (101.7 cm) x 25 2/3 in (65.2 cm)

    English, circa 1874

  • Provenance

    3rd Marquess of Bute (1847-1900), Cardiff Castle; sold from Cardiff Castle, 17 June 1949, lot 37 or 38; private collection.

    In 1865 the 3rd Marquess of Bute asked Burges to report on the restoration of part of the walls of Cardiff Castle.

    The commission to rebuild the Castle which followed ‘was undoubtedly the artistic opportunity of a lifetime for William Burges’ (The Strange Genius of William Burges ‘Art-Architect’ 1827-1881, exh. cat., Cardiff, 1981, p.29).

  • Collection

    Cardiff Castle

  • Notes

    The present table, originally one from a pair, was supplied for the Winter Smoking Room in the Clock Tower at Cardiff Castle.

    A drawing of this room was exhibited by Axel Haig in 1870 at the Royal Academy (The Strange Genius of William Burges, op. cit., A.46).

    Other surviving detailed drawings for the room are dated 1872-74. One of the tables, together with other Burges-designed furniture at the Castle, was photographed around 1874; these images are now in the Cardiff Castle archives (P.21: 137-46).

    Both tables were recorded in the Winter Smoking Room in 1901 as: ‘English Walnut table inlaid with boxwood corners and draughtsboard centre. 1 ditto’ were back in the Winter Smoking Room, where they may have remained until 1949.

    The form of the present table, and other Burges tables of similar design, seems to derive from sixteenth century German prototypes (see Margit Bauer, et al., Europäische Möbel …, Frankfurt, 1981, nos 18 and 19 for examples in the Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt).