Edward William Godwin - Design Masters New York Tuesday, December 15, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Haslam & Whiteway, London

  • Literature

    Art Furniture, from Designs by E.W. Godwin, F.S.A., and Others, with Hints and Suggestions on Domestic Furniture and Decoration by William Watt, New York, 1978, reprint of the 1877 edition, pl. 15
    Elizabeth Aslin, E.W. Godwin: Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1986, p. 51, pl. no. 18
    Susan Weber Soros, The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin with Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1999, p. 88, cat. no. 107.1 for an advertisement, p. 143, cat. no. 207

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present model "coffee table" was originally designed by E.W. Godwin for his personal use, around 1866-1867, and later produced commercially by William Watt. Godwin created a number of table designs for William Watt during the 1860s and 1870s that gained popularity for their light forms and exotic designs. Produced until the 1880s, the present design was one of the most popular and illustrated often in William Watt advertisements, including the 1878 catalogue Art Furniture.

    A leader in the aesthetic movement in England, Godwin drew on influences from India, the Middle East, China and Japan. Godwin’s furniture is characterized by an amalgamation of styles and reflects his varied antiquarian interests from eighteenth-century Jacobean and early English furniture to restrained Japanese forms. The present coffee table was inspired by depictions of Egyptian furniture that Godwin sketched at the British Museum, as evidenced by the angled stretchers that support the lower square shelf. In a typical pairing of Eastern and Near-Eastern influences, an ebonized finish mimics that of traditional Japanese furniture, and reflects the Aesthetic movement’s preference for a visible wood grain.

Property from a Private European Collection


"Coffee table"

designed circa 1867, produced 1860s-1880s
Ebonized mahogany.
27 1/4 x 15 7/8 x 15 7/8 in. (69.2 x 40.3 x 40.3 cm)
Produced by William Watt, London.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $27,500

Contact Specialist
Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1266

Design Masters

New York Auction 15 December 2015 5pm