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image X1215

Artist’s easel

Stained pine

Height: 173cm, maximum extension
Width: 75 cm
Depth: 60cm

Museum number: X1215

Curatorial note

By Smith Warner & Co., London, early to mid-nineteenth century, stained pine. With two wooden pegs to adjust the height at which a drawing board or canvas is placed; stamped on the back .. MIT .. LATE SMITH WARNER & CO. 11 PICCADILLY / …0½ MARYLEBONE ST. AT … CIRCUS

It is possible that this easel formed part of the equipment in Soane’s office although it does not appear in George Bailey’s list of ‘Drawing apparatus’ in the 1837 Inventory.1 Smith Warner & Co. were colourmen and artists’ suppliers, working as early as 18112 and recorded as providing colours to the painters Peter de Wint (in the 1820s), Benjamin Robert Haydon (from 1807 to 1822) and Samuel Palmer (from 1827 to 1838).3 However, the partially illegible second line of the inscription seems to relate to a later firm who have taken over the business and this might indicate a post-Soane date for this item.

1 Maya Hambly, Catalogue of Drawing & Mathematical Instruments in Sir John Soane's Museum, unpublished typescript, 1988, No. 29 (SM object files).
2 In 1811 they were singled out by the drawing master John Cart Burgess as having brought watercolours to the greatest perfection, along with two other firms; this information comes from Reeves & Sons on-line guide to such firms at www.gracesguide.co.uk
3 Information from the Dictionary of Artists Suppliers and colourmen 1650-1939 published as an on-line resource by the National Portrait Gallery.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk