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Details & Cataloguing

1000 Ways of Seeing: The Private Collection of the late Stanley J. Seeger

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London

Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1869-1944
IMPORTANT REFECTORY TABLE
of pegged construction
oak
75 by 94.5 by 194.2cm.; 29 1/2 by 37 1/8 by 76 1/2 in.
Executed in 1897.
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Provenance

Sir Edwin and Lady Lutyens
Christies, London, 8 June 1993, lot 120A

Literature

Christopher Hussey, The Life of Edwin Lutyens, London, 1959, p.64 for a proprietary sketch of the table
Mary Lutyens, Edwin Lutyens, London, 1980, p.46 for a drawing of the table in Lutyens' letter to Lady Emily Lytton
Lutyens Exhibition Arts Council, Hayward Gallery, London, exhibition catalogue, 1981-1982, pp.77, 139, 141
Elizabeth Wilhide, Sir Edwin Lutyens: Designing in the English Tradition, London, 2000, pp.158-159 and p.50 illustrated in situ at Mansfield Street

Catalogue Note

Lutyens designed this table for his own use during his engagement to Lady Emily Lytton in 1897. In one of his daily letters to his betrothed in February of that year Lutyens sketched the current lot and wrote 'Shall I design a Dining Table?' No, not green, do you think?  It would be too ARTY. And then plain woodwork would look so nice peeping up through the blue table cloth.'

The Lutyens' first home was at 29 Bloomsbury Square, London.  Although richly decorated, with walls of rose-madder mixed with black in the dining room, Mary Lutyens, their daughter, recalled that 'apart from the bedroom suite, designed by Lutyens, and an oak refectory dining table, also designed by him, the house was practically unfurnished'. 
The house was demolished in 1914 and the table moved with the Lutyens to 31 Bedford Square, London, and then again to their final home at 13 Mansfield Street, London.  Here it was placed in the serving room with a removable top fitted to prevent the wood being scalded by hot dishes.

1000 Ways of Seeing: The Private Collection of the late Stanley J. Seeger

|
London