Writing Cabinet by Charles Robert Ashbee

One of the most ambitious works by a leading figure of the Arts and Crafts movement, this handsome cabinet is modelled on late nineteenth-century Spanish cabinets, known as varguenes.


Ebony & holly veneer
135.2 x 107.9 x 54.2 cm
Art Fund grant:
£4,000 ( Total: £29,000)
Acquired in:

They look heavy and severe when closed but when opened reveal an expanse of light and colour. In this cabinet, Ashbee has employed dark, close-grained ebony veneer for the austere exterior and lighter woods, floral decoration, silver-plated handles and crimson leather in the interior. This contains a honeycomb of drawers for keeping writing equipment and stamps. It is first recorded in the collection of the designer's mother, Mrs H. S. Ashbee of 37 Cheyne Walk, London, to whom it was presumably given as a gift.


Sotheby's, 1981.

Venue details

The Wilson: Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum Clarence Street, Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL50 3JT 01242 237431 www.cheltenhamartgallery.org.uk/

Entry details

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