Gothic Revival Desk
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852)
Gillow & Co., Lancaster and London (manufacturer)
Oak with iron furniture
30 x 63 x 33 inches (76.2 x 160 x 83.8 cm)
A desk to this design was made for the Prime Minister's office in the New Palace of Westminster, London, designed by Pugin and Barry, and decorated by Pugin circa 1844. The handles and lock plates, also to Pugin's designs, were probably made by Hardman & Co. The Prime Minster's office is illustrated in Paul Atterbury & Clive Wainwright, Pugin a Gothic Passion, 1994 p.233, fig.439.
Despite his short life, Pugin was undoubtedly the most important and influential figure in design reform in nineteenth century Britain. He began his design career aged 15 years, producing furniture for Windsor castle made by Morel & Seddon and metalwork for the Royal goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge and Co. His numerous publications were highly influential; his Reformed Gothic ecclesiastical and domestic buildings set the pattern of the Gothic Revival in Britain for two decades; his work on the interior decoration of the new Palace of Westminster initiated many patterns and techniques that found their way into the commercial repertory of domestic design. Along with his closest allies Hardman, Crace, Myers and Minton he created the renowned Medieval Court at the 1851 Great Exhibition from which many items were purchased for the new South Kensington Musetim later the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Architect-Designers from Pugin to Mackintosh. Exhibition catalogue. London: The Fine Art Society with Haslam & Whiteway Ltd., 1981.
The Fine Art Society Story. Part I. London: The Fine Art Society, 2001. Catalogue number 115.
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Last modified December 1999