Lot 855
  • 855

Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1869-1944

Estimate
10,000 - 15,000 GBP
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Description

  • Important refectory table
  • oak
  • 75 by 94.5 by 194.2cm.; 29 1/2 by 37 1/8 by 76 1/2 in.
  • Executed in 1897.
of pegged construction

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

Condition

Please note that the table is by Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) and that the provenance is also Christie's London, 3 November 2004, lot 14. With a little folded piece of paper hold in place by pins to the underside of the top : "Table by and belonged to Sir Edwin Lutyens, see photo in catalogue of Lutyens exhibition at Hayward Gallery, Nov. 1981. Table sold from Mansfield St. House 1944 confirmed by Mary Lutyens, see her letter to me." Numerous old marks, scratches, some minor splits, some burns to top and some discolouration at one end. General old losses commensurate with age. Table is highly polished, particularly to the top. One corner to top restored and a small filet towards the centre of the other end. Some traces of restorations and one element reglued to the lower torus of one of the corner legs. Loss to one upper ring at top of one leg. Dents overall commensurate with age and use. The table present some traces of an ancient moulding below the top, moulding visible on the view at Mansfield Street. The moulding was probably removed between 1993 and 2004. A handsome and impressive piece.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

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.