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James C Dent Oak Nest of Tables, ex SWD Craftsman

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Stock ref: DS1648


A rare and highly sought after Cotswold School Arts and Crafts oak Nest of Tables by James Cleasby Dent ( 1920 – 2003),  featuring the carving details and skills he acquired whilst working at the renowned Stanley Webb Davies workshop in Windermere, Cumbria. Of larger size than is usually seen each of the three tables is of tall rectangular form with shaped and chamferred legs joined by arched shaped stretchers. All the joints feature oak dowel pins and exposed wedged tennons.

James’s trademark twin acorns  is carved in relief to the side apron of the smallest table. The underside of the largest table is also initialled and dated by James  in typical SWD fashion.

The nest of tables presents in superb waxed condition with no faults or staining and has a superb depth of medium oak colour. 

James was born into a farming family in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. Interested in woodwork from an early age he started working with Stanley Webb Davies as a fee paying student, later becoming an apprentice and then a fully qualified craftsman.  He worked at the SWD Gatesbield workshop until 1954, leaving to set up his own workshop in Ravenstondale near Kirkby Stephen, after his wife Kathleen took up a teaching post at the local village school. The church in Kirkby Stephen contains numerous examples of his work and Stanley himself in 1976 is recorded as remarking that he regarded his font cover in the church as ” a masterpiece”.

Hugh Wright’s biography on Stanley Webb Davies contains many references to James Dent (see especially p 102, 109-111).  It, together with a new 2016 publication entitled Stanley Webb Davies – Family Friends & Furniture by  Ian Naylor and Harold Heys are highly recommend to those interested in learning more about  Stanley Webb Davies and his talented craftsmen.

Table Sizes: Lge – 60.8(w) x 44.8(d) x 61(h)cm
                  Med – 49.8)w) x 35.5(d) x 56.5(h)cm
                  Sml – 39.8(w) x 26.5(d) x 52(h)cm



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