The final lot in the auction of Fine Furniture, Carpets, Ceramics and Lighting, 27th June, is this stunning pair of Arts & Crafts carved oak panels.
The panels date from the turn of the last century and were possibly designed for a set of stairs. Although they come to auction with no known provenance it is likely that they were designed for a specific house of the period. To further add to the mystery surrounding their origins, one of the panels is topped with a carved ‘B’.
Each rectangular panel is carved on both sides and is pierced. A tree trunk acts as the central structural focus and is flanked on both sides by two young boys playing in the branches of the tree.
The Arts & Crafts movement in Britain can be traced back to 1880. It marked a change in how society valued the way in which things were made. At the time industrialisation was beginning to reveal its damaging side effects whilst the decorative arts were increasingly under-appreciated. Arts & Crafts brought about a shift in the approach to the design and manufacture of nearly everything, ranging from buildings to jewellery.
In reality the movement was made up of a number of different artistic societies, some working in small workshops and others in large manufacturing companies. They were however united in their passion for the creation of beautiful, well-made objects to be used in everyday life and produced in a way which allowed their makers to remain connected to their product and the ultimate consumer.