Saturday, 25 January 2014

Godfrey Blount's gesso chest from 1897 to 2004

In June 2004 The Millinery Works Gallery held a selling exhibition presented by The Antique Trader which contained as exhibit no.54, after an Ernest Gimson chair, was:

"Godfrey Blount (Designer and maker): an oak green stained coffer with exposed dovetail construction, copper patinated gesso panel to the front and sides depicting Diana the Huntress. Circa 1894, 42.5in (108cm) high, 42.5in (108cm) wide and 17.75in (45cms) deep"

Godfrey Blount chest with panels of gesso
The chest appears to have changed very little from the photograph of it in The Artist ('The Only Perfect Art - Mr Godfrey Blount's work and some theories', September 1897).  

Godfrey Blount chest with panels of gesso,
The Artist, September 1897

Godfrey Blount chest with panels of gesso,
The Artist, September 1897

In the accompanying The Artist article, which does not explain the works pictured, Mabel Cox writes "Mr Blount maintains that the only fine art is the art which is useful, first in purely material matters – the making of pots, pans, and furniture, weaving and building – and that the only artist is he who, in the first place, is an artisan.  Only when we are satisfied with the beauty of these common things are we justified in pursuing art for art’s sake."

(A short note to say that I saw this chest on the auction site yesterday, it did ring a few vague bells, and I believe someone e-mailed me this auction link some time ago, it's probably lost somewhere in my inbox, and I think I forgot all about it.  Apologies if that was you!).

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