Aesthetic Period Hall Lantern | Rose Uniacke

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Aesthetic Period Hall Lantern

By Edward William Godwin, read more.

About this piece

The design attributed to EW Godwin (1833 - 1886)

Bronze, brass & jade

English, circa 1870

The elevation taking the form of a 'Torii' - the entrance to a Shinto shrine - with paired square-section columns to each corner framing an arched niche each with roundels containing carved celadon jade discs. The upper section taken from the Japanese 'Irimoya,' a hip-and-gable roof; triangular openings to each pediment over a sloping hip ridge ending in a kicked up point.   Construction in brass and contrasting bronze, the various layers with visible pegged construction; this being both structural and deliberately decorative.

The design of the roof and lower balcony element taken directly from EW Godwin's design for 'Japanese Wood Construction' from The Building News, Feb. 12th 1875.   Whilst Godwin never visited Japan, he drew early influence from imported woodblock prints and was further able to derive inspiration from Aimé Hubert's 'Le Japon Illustré' published in 1870.

The exceptional metalworking, educated design and inclusion of rare imported components all point to this lantern having been commissioned by one of the greats of London's Aesthetic movement.   Edward William Godwin must be considered the front-runner.   We have seen his published designs being used to anchor the design but the less tangible elements are the eight Chinese jade bi discs.   The Victoria & Albert Museum hold in their collection the 'Monkey Cabinet' (No. 7-1958) designed by Godwin for his own use between 1870 and 1876; so called due to the use of ivory 'netsuke' handles in the form of monkeys.   Additionally the doors are set with Japanese carved boxwood panels:

   Susan Weber Soros's "The Secular Furniture of EW Godwin" suggests that ...."both the netsuke and the carved boxwood panels might have been acquired from Liberty's East Indian Art WArehouse on Regent Street, where Godwin often shopped in the 1870s; Elizabeth Aslin has pointed out was not unusual for Godwin to incorporate actual Japanese articles of decoration into his pieces.   An early sideboard at the Bristol Museums and Art Gallery, for example, has pieces of japanese watercolour inserted into its top panels, and a cabinet he designed for Collinson and Lock has panels cut from a Japanese lacquer box.


H 76cm x W 33cm x D 33cm
H 30" x W 13" x D 13"

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