- Museum number
Letter rack; electroplate; moveable struts on curved base resting on bun feet; slots in the base allow the struts to slide into a more upright position.
- Production date
Height: 12.30 centimetres
Width: 10.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.89.
For a full discussion of Christopher Dresser's metalwork see Curatorial Comment for catalogue no. 82 (1983.10-10.1) in 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950'
There were a number of variations on this design; the version with fixed supports was model no. 2556 (Dennis, R. and Jesse, J., 'Christopher Dresser 1834-1904', exhibition catalogue, London, Fine Art Society, 1972, no.125; Collins, M., 'Christopher Dresser 1834-1904', exhibition catalogue, London, Camden Arts Centre and Middlesbrough, Dorman Museum, 1979, no.44, both described as toast-racks); examples were also made with an open base, model no. 2655 (Collins 1979, no.45). A further variant served as combined book-end and letter rack, comprising half the model with closed-in base for solidity, the lowest rack set horizontally, with a bend to hold pens (Collins 1979, no.43). It should be noted that none of these examples bears Dresser's facsimile signature.
Additional text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection'. 2nd ed. 1994. Addenda.
Many of these pieces bear design registration marks. In theory, the mark stamped on the object should correspond to both a description and a representation in the records of registered designs held at the Public Record Office, but sometimes the wrong numbers were stamped on the objects. This means that although the brief listing in the Registers of Ornamental Designs confirms that Hunkin & Heath registered designs on that day (the listings rarely give detailed descriptions of the object registered), the actual design itself, contained in separate volumes of Ornamental Designs, may differ from the object.
Incorrectly stamped; the entries for 9 May 1881 list and illustrate three items registered by Hukin & Heath, design nos. 364883-5, a spoon and two decanters, but no letter rack.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number