Designer / Maker
The design attributed to Philip Webb (1831-1915)
The manufacture attributed to Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (1861-75, and as Morris & Co. until 1940)
73.7 x 136.5 cm
English (London), circa 1870
J.R. Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908), Sandroyd, Fairmile, Surrey; thence by descent; H. Blairman & Sons; American private collection
H. Blairman & Sons, Furniture and Works of Art, 2003, no. 7
Sandroyd was designed by Philip Webb for Spencer Stanhope, and built in 1860, the year after his well-known and comparably styled Red House for William Morris (1834-96) at Bexleyheath, Kent. Stanhope was one of the younger generation of artists who gathered around the Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82) circle; along with Morris and Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98). Stanhope was involved in the painting of the Oxford Union (1857).
The starting point for the design of the present table can be identified with a group of ‘mediaeval’ tables emanating from the Morris circle during the 1850s. If one excludes a design by A.W.N. Pugin (see Clive Wainwright and Paul Atterbury (eds), Pugin: a Gothic Passion, exh. cat., London, 1994, p. 15, fig. 32) the Cuddesdon tables of about 1854, designed by G.E. Street (1824-81), and Morris’s own table of about 1856, for Red Lion Square, mark the beginning (see Linda Parry (ed.), William Morris, exh. cat., London, 1996, nos J.2 and J.3). Next, there is Webb’s own table for Red House, now at Kelmscott Manor (Parry, op. cit., J.10).
The Stanhope table should be seen as marking the beginning of the next phase. During the 1860s Webb designed a series of slightly oriental-inspired circular tables with turned legs and stretchers, some with six legs and a central column (see Parry, op. cit., J.22, and H. Blairman & Sons Ltd, Furniture and Works of Art (1996), no. 12). The present table combines the toughness of the 1850s furniture, with the elegance of Webb’s later work.
The attribution to Philip Webb and to Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. is based on provenance and stylistic comparisons.