Oak Settle by E Barnsley

Designed and made by Ernest Barnsley in the Pinbury workshop.

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Art work details

Year of production :
Other Pieces
Dimensions :
H. 186.5; W. 189cm; D. 42cm

A stunningly simple, sculptural piece whose design was determined by its function. Settles were traditionally used in a hall, kitchen or living room at right angles to the fireplace. Its high back and sides protect the user from draughts. 

This settle was commissioned by Sydney Gimson for the kitchen at Stoneywell in Leicestershire. The settle has hooks on its back which were used to hang hats and coats.

This settle was included in the exhibition 'The Maker's Eye' in 1982. This was the first exhibition held by the Crafts Council in their extended central London premises. Fourteen selectors, makers and designers at different stages in their careers, were invited to define their idea of craft and chose a group of objects for display. The Spectator's art critic John McEwen produced a rather scathing review of the show for Crafts magazine but highlighted those objects, ‘that transcend their function without discernibly drawing attention to the fact. Two superb examples were Edward Johnson's block letter alphabet for London Underground...' and 'Ernest Barnsley's oak settle from 1898, so sophisticated that it looks naive.'