Recently Sold

Stanley Webb Davies, Oak Personal Writing Bureau

Stock ref: DS1357


A unique opportunity to purchase the second oldest piece known to have been made personally by the celebrated Arts and Crafts furniture maker Stanley Webb Davies and in his personal possession  at Gatesbield, his home in Windermere,  up to his death.  This solid oak piece is known to have been made in 1912 when Stanley was just 16 years old whilst at Bootham School, York where it was judged by his woodwork master to be “of good quality and was quite the best thing in the show……. it is accurate in its fitting and a neatly executed piece of furniture and it comes first.” It features a sliding glazed leaded top cupboard, a fall front writing desk which sits on pull-out lopers, with inner compartments and drawers. Below are a range of open and doored cupboards and drawers fittted with period fittings.

Whilst demonstrating his latent talent for woodwork it was made before he trained professionally under the tutilage of Romney Green so it lacks the exposed joints and other techniques which typify has later professional work. Nethertheless the influences of A W Simpson of Kendal, the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau period are all visible in the style, construction and fittings used on this piece.

Clearly used regularly by Stanley throughout his life it has some minor knocks, scratches and splashes but remains a  solid and highly usable piece. All the fittings look to be original except for one which looks to be a later replacement on the front right smaller drawer. The keys are retained with an interesting original and probably now unique SWD showroom price label. I don’t believe the price shown relates to this piece as it has only ever been a personal family piece but is nevertheless an interesting small piece of Stanley’s business history.

Excellent provenance, the piece remained in Stanley’s personal possession at Gatesbield up to his death and was bequeathed in his will to his niece Cindy Vardy. It remained in her possession until she retired into one of the Gatesbield Quaker Housing Asscociation appartments which now occupy the Gatesbield site, when it was acquired  by a close family friend and hence into our ownership. 

This piece was also exhibited at Blackwell, the National Trust owned Arts & Crafts property designed by  M.H. Baille Scott in Bowness-on-Windermere Nov 2011 – Feb 2012.

Literature: Hugh Wright – Stanley Webb Davies 1894-1978, Arts & Crafts Furniture Maker, pages 10-12.

Size: 76(w) x 49(d) x 130(h)cm



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