‘Lessons on Form’; A Very Decorative Painted Pine & Paper Labelled School Teaching Aid Panel c.1900

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian / Edwardian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900-10
Height: 24.75”
Width: 14.5”
Depth: 0.5”

Dating from the late Victorian period, the painted pine and paper labelled school teaching aid panel of good size entitled ‘Lessons on Form’ ‘No.5’ and showing various letters of the alphabet in black script on an ivory ground with black painted border surviving in unrestored condition.

The fact this piece has survived in nigh on original condition is very pleasing and overall it remains a hugely attractive piece in its entirety. It has a wonderful dry and arid texture with part losses and staining to the paper label as pictured. There is some shrinkage to the board, with a crack running through it vertically, and a wonderful aged patina throughout making it hugely decorative and we can see part of the name for the manufactures being ‘(?)…apparatus, Camden, London’ but the former text is absent. The reverse shows the remains of a sectioned ruled table. It retains its integral hoop for wall mounting.

This would have been part of a series of several teaching aid boards used in the Victorian classrooms at the time. Many schools were quite grim places, often with windows high up so that children could not see out. They were drab by modern standards, with very little on the walls except perhaps a stern text, for example this type of teaching aid for instance, as it was considered very important to develop a fine hand, so a lot of time was spent practicing copy writing. Boys and girls generally were separated, having their own entrance and playground.

A very evocative piece in wondrous aged condition; more like ‘lessons on looking good’, for us.