Origin: English Period: Mid-Victorian Provenance: The Estate of Peter Wood (1925-2016) Date: c.1860-70 Height: 43.5” (at finials) Width: 55.75” Depth: 24.75” (at feet)
The beautiful gothic revival influenced bench-come-pew, of ecclesiastical origin, in the original naturally distressed soft French green over ivory period paint, the pine carcass with a rail back having ball finials to down swept arms and three plank seat, the back inscribed in black with "No. 20", and the frieze with further numbers ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’, the sides with arched Gothic trefoil panels to scrolled shaped feet surviving from the third quarter of nineteenth century England.
The condition of the bench is marvellously unrestored, unmeddled with, and thus entirely original. There are two sections of loss to the moulding at both ends, and a section absent to one of the feet; please see photographs for visual reference. The paint is dry and flaky though stable; whilst structurally she is sound for occasional use, the planks to the seat giving slightly when perched upon. There is some small amount of old worm to the rear underside stretcher.
This piece was part of the late Peter Wood’s estate (b.1925), who was an eminent stage director, directing Harold Pinter’s first play The Birthday Party in 1958, he also worked with Tom Stoppard on many occasions and was friends with David Hockney and Dame Elizabeth Frink. His collection of art and antiques was displayed in a monastic barn, he lovingly restored in Batcombe, Somerset.
The original hand painted numbering to the paint-work is wondrous and it is almost certain that the piece was an ecclesiastical one, and, essentially a pew at the time of its creation, being one of many, it would have been painted with a number for the congregation. There is the possibility that the bench was painted after its removal from the church but the paint is certainly of the same period. Indeed, it is rare and unusual to find a gothic revival piece with paint that is of the same period, with 95% of pieces of this type surviving in oak.
A very decorative, desirable and attractive piece of furniture, fresh to the market, and of which you won’t see the like of again.