Edward William Godwin - Modern Masters London Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Paul Reeves, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Harvey Pitcher, Muir & Mirrielees, The Scottish Partnership that became a Household Name in Russia, Cromer, 1994, p. 100, fig. 18 for a similar example
    Susan Weber Soros, The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin with Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1999, p. 157, no. 223 for an image and a drawing of a similar example
    Susan Weber Soros, ed., E.W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer, exh. cat., The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decoratives Arts, New York, 1999, p. 204, fig. 7-27 for a drawing of a similar example

  • Catalogue Essay

    The ‘judicious eclecticism’ in which E.W. Godwin approached design is evident in the multi-faceted influences of the present table design. Designer of Jacobean furniture and Gothic revival town halls, Godwin believed that old forms should be carefully studied. Stripped of ornament, his pieces were plainer than other examples of the time and his be-spindled furniture was considered the new original style of the 1870s and 1880s. This new style of modern cabinetmaking introduced by Godwin and seen in the present model, displays his practical knowledge and the influential nature of his work.

    Here, the linear interplay of solid and void, the horizontal and vertical stretchers and posts are reminiscent of Japanese latticework, demonstrating Godwin’s incorporation of Asian influences into English design. As early as 1860, as one of the leaders of the aesthetic movement, Godwin began exploring the arts of Japan. His knowledge and appreciation of Japanese style came from imported materials and newspapers and journals, one of the richest sources of influence was Hokusai’s Manga. Godwin’s work, with pronounced Japanese influence and Gothic detailing, was a means of spiritual expression, which he described as "more or less founded on Japanese principles" as opposed to tangible furniture forms.

    A variation of the present model created in Godwin’s revolutionary aesthetic style can be found illustrated in Godwin's sketchbooks. The sketch comes from his designs for Grey Towers House in Middlesbrough, the entire interior of which was designed by Godwin.

Property of a Private European Collector


Side table

Mahogany, mahogany-veneered wood, brass.
65.2 x 50.5 x 50.2 cm (25 5/8 x 19 7/8 x 19 3/4 in.)
Produced by Collinson & Lock, London, UK. Underside impressed twice COLLINSON&LOCK LONDON.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Modern Masters

London Auction 27 April 2016