It was William Morris, the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who decreed “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is sit: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
Harking back to the principles of the medieval guilds and rejecting the mass-production of the Industrial Revolution, disciples of the Arts and Crafts philosophy aimed to bring back together the artist and the craftsman. The aim was for the maker to be involved in all or most aspects of the production.
This Liberty Sideboard demonstrates key aspects of Arts and Crafts furniture. It is ‘honest’ and practical and is made in solid oak. The dovetails are cut by hand. It has a romantic, hand-beaten “repousse” copper panel Called the Witlaf, according to Daryl Bennett in his book Liberty’s Furniture 1875-1915, the name may have been inspired by the Longfellow poem “King Witlay’s Drinking Horn” which began “Witlaf a king of the Saxons…” A period photograph and sketch of this sideboard appears in the book.
The overhanging cornice and copper strapwork hinges are typical of Arts and Crafts Movement furniture. This sideboard is now sold. Stock of good examples of Arts and Crafts furniture is always available at www.designgallery.co.uk and at our 3000 sq.ft. Showroom and Warehouse in Edenbridge, Kent.