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CLOTHWORKERS’ HALL

CLOTHWORKERS’ HALL

Clothworkers’ Hall Dunster Court Mincing Lane London EC3R 7AH Tel: 020 7623 7041 email: enquiries@clothworkers.co.uk

www.clothworkers.co.uk

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The Clothworkers’ Company was founded in 1528 upon the merger of two predecessor guilds, the Fullers and Shearmen. It was originally established to regulate the finishing of woven woollen cloth within the City of London, by supervising the training of apprentices, setting standards of workmanship and settling internal domestic squabbles. The Company’s craft role had declined by the time of the Industrial Revolution; however, its activities as a charitable and benevolent institution continued. Members were looked after in times of unemployment, illness, old age and bereavement and throughout its long history, the Company acquired many charitable trusts, benefitting the less fortunate. Schools and almshouses were also at one time administered. In the nineteenth century, the Company became heavily involved in the development of technical education, and was a principal founder of both the City and Guilds of London Institute, the leading provider of vocational qualifications, and Leeds University. It also made pioneering grants in support of female education.

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The Clothworkers’ Company was founded in 1528 upon the merger of two predecessor guilds, the Fullers and Shearmen. It was originally established to regulate the finishing of woven woollen cloth within the City of London, by supervising the training of apprentices, setting standards of workmanship and settling internal domestic squabbles. The Company’s craft role had declined by the time of the Industrial Revolution; however, its activities as a charitable and benevolent institution continued. Members were looked after in times of unemployment, illness, old age and bereavement and throughout its long history, the Company acquired many charitable trusts, benefitting the less fortunate. Schools and almshouses were also at one time administered. In the nineteenth century, the Company became heavily involved in the development of technical education, and was a principal founder of both the City and Guilds of London Institute, the leading provider of vocational qualifications, and Leeds University. It also made pioneering grants in support of female education.

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Today the Company, whose membership is derived

The Company has always been based in Mincing Lane

primarily through patrimony, exists to play its part in

in the City of London, with successive Halls standing

the living history and traditions of the City of London

on the same site, first acquired by a group of shearmen

and to preserve and grow its assets, principally based

in 1456. Traditionally a place where apprentices came

on historic property bequests in order to give all

to be bound, alms received, finished cloth inspected

possible support to The Clothworkers’ Foundation, a

and disputes between members settled, some of the

major grant-maker in the UK.

functions of Clothworkers’ Hall may have altered and fallen into abeyance over time; notwithstanding,

Since its formation in 1977 as the primary vehicle

it remains the focal point of a long tradition of

for the Company’s charitable giving, the Foundation

fellowship and hospitality today.

has made grants in excess of £125m to charities. It responds to appeals for funding for capital projects

The Hall is also home to a growing collection of

to improve the lives of people and communities, and

archives, books and bindings, and works of art

runs a proactive grants programme in defined areas

including tapestries, paintings and silver, amassed

in which it can make an impact through a targeted

over the centuries, largely through the generosity of

programme of giving. In recent years these have

past members.

included autism, conservation and the dramatic arts. This guide provides descriptions and photography Few of our members today are involved in the

of the principal interiors and works of art on display

textile industry; however, we aim to support our

in the present sixth Clothworkers’ Hall, preceded by

root trade through educational grants, promoting

brief histories of the five that came before it.

textile technology and manufacturing in the UK and supporting the nation’s textile heritage.

More detailed information on the Company and its history and activities can be found on our website at

Members are encouraged to visit charities we are

www.clothworkers.co.uk. Records of past Clothworker

considering supporting and to play their part in civil

apprentices and Freemen are freely available for

society – whether as a charity trustee, school governor

searching online at www.londonroll.org.

or parish councillor – as we consider trusteeship our common purpose in the modern age.

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OPPOSITE: Watercolour of the Company’s coat of arms from the Treswell Plan Book, 1612

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Today the Company, whose membership is derived

The Company has always been based in Mincing Lane

primarily through patrimony, exists to play its part in

in the City of London, with successive Halls standing

the living history and traditions of the City of London

on the same site, first acquired by a group of shearmen

and to preserve and grow its assets, principally based

in 1456. Traditionally a place where apprentices came

on historic property bequests in order to give all

to be bound, alms received, finished cloth inspected

possible support to The Clothworkers’ Foundation, a

and disputes between members settled, some of the

major grant-maker in the UK.

functions of Clothworkers’ Hall may have altered and fallen into abeyance over time; notwithstanding,

Since its formation in 1977 as the primary vehicle

it remains the focal point of a long tradition of

for the Company’s charitable giving, the Foundation

fellowship and hospitality today.

has made grants in excess of £125m to charities. It responds to appeals for funding for capital projects

The Hall is also home to a growing collection of

to improve the lives of people and communities, and

archives, books and bindings, and works of art

runs a proactive grants programme in defined areas

including tapestries, paintings and silver, amassed

in which it can make an impact through a targeted

over the centuries, largely through the generosity of

programme of giving. In recent years these have

past members.

included autism, conservation and the dramatic arts. This guide provides descriptions and photography Few of our members today are involved in the

of the principal interiors and works of art on display

textile industry; however, we aim to support our

in the present sixth Clothworkers’ Hall, preceded by

root trade through educational grants, promoting

brief histories of the five that came before it.

textile technology and manufacturing in the UK and supporting the nation’s textile heritage.

More detailed information on the Company and its history and activities can be found on our website at

Members are encouraged to visit charities we are

www.clothworkers.co.uk. Records of past Clothworker

considering supporting and to play their part in civil

apprentices and Freemen are freely available for

society – whether as a charity trustee, school governor

searching online at www.londonroll.org.

or parish councillor – as we consider trusteeship our common purpose in the modern age.

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OPPOSITE: Watercolour of the Company’s coat of arms from the Treswell Plan Book, 1612

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND In 1528, the Fullers and the Shearmen, two guilds who had originated as groups within The Weavers’ Company, amalgamated to create The Clothworkers’ Company. Both crafts were involved in the finishing of cloth and decided to unite to form a more powerful company against their rivals. King Henry VIII approved their petition and a Royal Charter, enabling the new Company to regulate clothworking in the City of London, was granted on 18 January 1528. The Clothworkers’ Company was to be headed by a Master, supported in his work by four Wardens, all of whom were to be elected annually. Detailed instructions on the governance of the Company were issued in Ordinances approved and signed by Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor in 1532. Clothworking had previously been managed as separate stages by the two mother Companies. The Fullers had overseen fulling, the process of washing and thickening cloth in a slurry of water and fuller’s earth; tentering or drying the cloth on large tenter-frames; and teaselling or scouring the cloth with the dried heads of the fuller’s teasel plant to raise the nap. Shearmen sheared or set the cloth, stretching it on a padded bench where it was held in place by double-edged hooks known as habicks and trimming the nap to a uniform height. It was then planed or pressed to a fine even finish ready for export or tailoring. At a time when wool was the source of the Kingdom’s wealth, the ABOVE: Eighteenth century engraving of the finishing of cloth printed in The Universal Magazine OPPOSITE: Details of the Company’s Foundation Charter, 1528

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Clothworkers quickly became a powerful company and succeeded to the Shearmen’s former position of twelfth in the Order of Precedence of the City Livery Companies.

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND In 1528, the Fullers and the Shearmen, two guilds who had originated as groups within The Weavers’ Company, amalgamated to create The Clothworkers’ Company. Both crafts were involved in the finishing of cloth and decided to unite to form a more powerful company against their rivals. King Henry VIII approved their petition and a Royal Charter, enabling the new Company to regulate clothworking in the City of London, was granted on 18 January 1528. The Clothworkers’ Company was to be headed by a Master, supported in his work by four Wardens, all of whom were to be elected annually. Detailed instructions on the governance of the Company were issued in Ordinances approved and signed by Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor in 1532. Clothworking had previously been managed as separate stages by the two mother Companies. The Fullers had overseen fulling, the process of washing and thickening cloth in a slurry of water and fuller’s earth; tentering or drying the cloth on large tenter-frames; and teaselling or scouring the cloth with the dried heads of the fuller’s teasel plant to raise the nap. Shearmen sheared or set the cloth, stretching it on a padded bench where it was held in place by double-edged hooks known as habicks and trimming the nap to a uniform height. It was then planed or pressed to a fine even finish ready for export or tailoring. At a time when wool was the source of the Kingdom’s wealth, the ABOVE: Eighteenth century engraving of the finishing of cloth printed in The Universal Magazine OPPOSITE: Details of the Company’s Foundation Charter, 1528

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Clothworkers quickly became a powerful company and succeeded to the Shearmen’s former position of twelfth in the Order of Precedence of the City Livery Companies.

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First Hall (1528 – 1548) When the new Company was formed, it also took over Shearmen’s Hall in Mincing Lane, so named after the Benedictine nuns or mynchens of St Helen’s Bishopsgate who once lived there. The contents of the nearby Fullers’ Hall, north of Fenchurch Street, next to the original Ironmongers’ Hall, were gradually transferred and the Company’s records make reference to ‘conveying the great fire pan from the other Hall’ in 1531 for example. The Shearmen had first acquired the site by conveyance in 1456, and the first Hall was built in 1472. Sadly, no plans or pictures of this first Hall survive, but from a surviving inventory of 1528 in the Company’s archives, we know it to have been a simple structure, furnished practically to accommodate its functions as a meeting place, feasting place and Court. The main Livery Hall was arranged with a dais at one end on which stood a long painted table; two further tables ran down either side of the Hall and seating took the form of benches. It contained a wall hanging and a beam for five candlesticks. Other rooms included an upper chamber with a long trestle table, two benches and a chest; a kitchen; and a parlour decorated with a red trimmed hanging. TOP: The Shearmen’s seal, the only surviving item from the Shearmen’s Inventory LEFT: The Shearmen’s Inventory, 1528 OPPOSITE: A detail from The Company’s Grant of Arms, 1530

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First Hall (1528 – 1548) When the new Company was formed, it also took over Shearmen’s Hall in Mincing Lane, so named after the Benedictine nuns or mynchens of St Helen’s Bishopsgate who once lived there. The contents of the nearby Fullers’ Hall, north of Fenchurch Street, next to the original Ironmongers’ Hall, were gradually transferred and the Company’s records make reference to ‘conveying the great fire pan from the other Hall’ in 1531 for example. The Shearmen had first acquired the site by conveyance in 1456, and the first Hall was built in 1472. Sadly, no plans or pictures of this first Hall survive, but from a surviving inventory of 1528 in the Company’s archives, we know it to have been a simple structure, furnished practically to accommodate its functions as a meeting place, feasting place and Court. The main Livery Hall was arranged with a dais at one end on which stood a long painted table; two further tables ran down either side of the Hall and seating took the form of benches. It contained a wall hanging and a beam for five candlesticks. Other rooms included an upper chamber with a long trestle table, two benches and a chest; a kitchen; and a parlour decorated with a red trimmed hanging. TOP: The Shearmen’s seal, the only surviving item from the Shearmen’s Inventory LEFT: The Shearmen’s Inventory, 1528 OPPOSITE: A detail from The Company’s Grant of Arms, 1530

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Second Hall (1548 – 1633)

Ralph Treswell, Painter-Stainer and a noted mapmaker by

By 1548, the Clothworkers had outgrown their inherited Hall and Henry

of properties in 1612 and from this detailed document, an

Davyson, a bricklayer and John Sampson, a carpenter, were contracted to

impression of the second Hall emerges. Still located on

erect a replacement better suited to the Company’s flourishing status. In

Mincing Lane, it was a much larger and grander affair than its

1594, substantial work was done on the Parlour, and the whole Hall may have been extended at this time.

trade, was commissioned to survey the Company’s portfolio

An artist’s impression of the likely appearance of the Second Hall

predecessor, and the Livery Hall and its Parlour now stood on undercrofts. At one end of the Livery Hall there was still a dais, but with fashionable oriel windows to either side. Above part of the Parlour and sharing its oriel was a Ladies’ Chamber and to the west of this lay the Dry Parlour, with its Plate Chamber and Counting House; an Armoury House over the Kitchen; and the Pastry. There was also a Gallery and a second Counting House or office. The layout was typical for its date and some idea of its internal appearance can be gained from contemporary college halls at Oxford and Cambridge. An inventory drawn up in 1555 suggests that, at least initially, many of the furnishings were reused from the former Hall for several are described as being ‘old’ and

ABOVE: Treswell’s plan of the Second Hall BELOW: Sixteenth century dining hall at Trinity College, Cambridge (John Bethell/Bridgeman Art Library)

some match descriptions of pieces in the Shearmen’s inventory of 1528. The garden was also newly planted when the Hall was rebuilt. Treswell’s watercolour survey shows it to have been laid out in a fashionable knot design and the Company archives contain long lists of plants purchased, chosen for both decorative and functional purposes. Herbs were plentiful, no doubt supplying the kitchen with ingredients for feasts, and a wide variety of scented flowers like lavender, rosemary and hyssop must have provided sweet-smelling petals for strewing upon the Hall floor. 8

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Second Hall (1548 – 1633)

Ralph Treswell, Painter-Stainer and a noted mapmaker by

By 1548, the Clothworkers had outgrown their inherited Hall and Henry

of properties in 1612 and from this detailed document, an

Davyson, a bricklayer and John Sampson, a carpenter, were contracted to

impression of the second Hall emerges. Still located on

erect a replacement better suited to the Company’s flourishing status. In

Mincing Lane, it was a much larger and grander affair than its

1594, substantial work was done on the Parlour, and the whole Hall may have been extended at this time.

trade, was commissioned to survey the Company’s portfolio

An artist’s impression of the likely appearance of the Second Hall

predecessor, and the Livery Hall and its Parlour now stood on undercrofts. At one end of the Livery Hall there was still a dais, but with fashionable oriel windows to either side. Above part of the Parlour and sharing its oriel was a Ladies’ Chamber and to the west of this lay the Dry Parlour, with its Plate Chamber and Counting House; an Armoury House over the Kitchen; and the Pastry. There was also a Gallery and a second Counting House or office. The layout was typical for its date and some idea of its internal appearance can be gained from contemporary college halls at Oxford and Cambridge. An inventory drawn up in 1555 suggests that, at least initially, many of the furnishings were reused from the former Hall for several are described as being ‘old’ and

ABOVE: Treswell’s plan of the Second Hall BELOW: Sixteenth century dining hall at Trinity College, Cambridge (John Bethell/Bridgeman Art Library)

some match descriptions of pieces in the Shearmen’s inventory of 1528. The garden was also newly planted when the Hall was rebuilt. Treswell’s watercolour survey shows it to have been laid out in a fashionable knot design and the Company archives contain long lists of plants purchased, chosen for both decorative and functional purposes. Herbs were plentiful, no doubt supplying the kitchen with ingredients for feasts, and a wide variety of scented flowers like lavender, rosemary and hyssop must have provided sweet-smelling petals for strewing upon the Hall floor. 8

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Third Hall (1633 – 1666)

In 1666 however, the relatively new Clothworkers’ Hall came to an

The second Hall had been enlarged and beautified following the

on 2 September and very soon reached the Steelyard to the west,

admission of King James I to the Company’s Freedom in 1606; yet by 1633

causing chaos at Clothworkers’ stairs at the bottom of Haywharf Lane

the walls were found to be ‘much defective and cracked, the windows

(where members washed their cloths in the Thames) as residents

untimely end. The Great Fire of London broke out in Pudding Lane

threw themselves and their possessions into the water to avoid

unfashionable and the whole frame uncomely and without ornament’.

perishing. The Fire also spread eastwards, and Pepys’ diary provides

The Court of Assistants, the Company’s governing body, decided to

an eyewitness account of the moment the Hall yielded to the flames:

rebuild, and the third Hall was completed within a year. No visual record of its appearance survives; however, we know that it

ABOVE: Seventeenth century account book recording payments made following the Fire

was entered from Mincing Lane and a courtyard was crossed to reach the Livery Hall, as before. An inventory of contents taken in 1653 shows

BELOW: The Great Fire of London in 1666 by Lieve Verschuier (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest/

that the Company’s new home included a number of new rooms designed

Bridgeman Art Library)

purely for entertainment including a ‘Hippocras House’ where spiced wine

“But strange it was to see Cloathworkers’ Hall on fire these three days and nights in one body of flame, it being the cellar full of oyle…”

was enjoyed and a Music Room. Indeed, Samuel Pepys, Master 1677-1678, recorded a visit to the Hall in his diary on 28 June 1660: ‘Our entertainment

very good. A brave hall. Good company and very good Musique.’ The third Hall witnessed a tumultuous era in English history. It was the home of the Clothworkers during the Civil War and its political aftermath, the execution of Charles I and for the duration of the Plague, which Pepys remarked was particularly virulent in the vicinity. During this period all the City Livery Companies struggled with constant demands upon their resources, first from the Crown and then from the Commonwealth. In September 1643 financial pressures became so great that the Company was forced to sell two-thirds of its plate collection, weighing 2,068 ounces in total and amounting to £520 1s 8d, in order to meet its debts. The Hall was also requisitioned for use by the Office of Sequestration, charged with seizing the estates of the Royalists. 10

Two seventeenth century survivals rosewater dishes presented by John Burnell and Joseph Jackson, past Masters

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Third Hall (1633 – 1666)

In 1666 however, the relatively new Clothworkers’ Hall came to an

The second Hall had been enlarged and beautified following the

on 2 September and very soon reached the Steelyard to the west,

admission of King James I to the Company’s Freedom in 1606; yet by 1633

causing chaos at Clothworkers’ stairs at the bottom of Haywharf Lane

the walls were found to be ‘much defective and cracked, the windows

(where members washed their cloths in the Thames) as residents

untimely end. The Great Fire of London broke out in Pudding Lane

threw themselves and their possessions into the water to avoid

unfashionable and the whole frame uncomely and without ornament’.

perishing. The Fire also spread eastwards, and Pepys’ diary provides

The Court of Assistants, the Company’s governing body, decided to

an eyewitness account of the moment the Hall yielded to the flames:

rebuild, and the third Hall was completed within a year. No visual record of its appearance survives; however, we know that it

ABOVE: Seventeenth century account book recording payments made following the Fire

was entered from Mincing Lane and a courtyard was crossed to reach the Livery Hall, as before. An inventory of contents taken in 1653 shows

BELOW: The Great Fire of London in 1666 by Lieve Verschuier (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest/

that the Company’s new home included a number of new rooms designed

Bridgeman Art Library)

purely for entertainment including a ‘Hippocras House’ where spiced wine

“But strange it was to see Cloathworkers’ Hall on fire these three days and nights in one body of flame, it being the cellar full of oyle…”

was enjoyed and a Music Room. Indeed, Samuel Pepys, Master 1677-1678, recorded a visit to the Hall in his diary on 28 June 1660: ‘Our entertainment

very good. A brave hall. Good company and very good Musique.’ The third Hall witnessed a tumultuous era in English history. It was the home of the Clothworkers during the Civil War and its political aftermath, the execution of Charles I and for the duration of the Plague, which Pepys remarked was particularly virulent in the vicinity. During this period all the City Livery Companies struggled with constant demands upon their resources, first from the Crown and then from the Commonwealth. In September 1643 financial pressures became so great that the Company was forced to sell two-thirds of its plate collection, weighing 2,068 ounces in total and amounting to £520 1s 8d, in order to meet its debts. The Hall was also requisitioned for use by the Office of Sequestration, charged with seizing the estates of the Royalists. 10

Two seventeenth century survivals rosewater dishes presented by John Burnell and Joseph Jackson, past Masters

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Samuel Pepys On 7 August 1677 the Honourable Samuel Pepys Esquire was chosen Master of The Clothworkers’ Company. Pepys was a well-connected and very senior naval civil servant, but he was not a Freemen or indeed Liveryman of the Company. It is believed that the Company took the extraordinary decision to welcome him into the Master’s chair in order to cultivate friendships at Court, so soon after the Civil Wars when the Company and City had supported the Parliamentarian forces. Pepys was in effect a token Master, only making five appearances at Court during his year of office. In spite of this, he is considered our most famous past Master on account of his diaries (which sadly terminate before his year of office) and for his munificent gift of three pieces of plate to the Company, regarded as our finest treasures. They comprise a rosewater dish, ewer and a silver-gilt pierced and engraved loving cup, the latter thought by Pevsner to be ‘perhaps the most magnificent cup in the City’.

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ABOVE: Pepys loving cup attributed to Gerard Cooques, c1677 OPPOSITE: Portrait of Samuel Pepys by John Riley, c1680

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Samuel Pepys On 7 August 1677 the Honourable Samuel Pepys Esquire was chosen Master of The Clothworkers’ Company. Pepys was a well-connected and very senior naval civil servant, but he was not a Freemen or indeed Liveryman of the Company. It is believed that the Company took the extraordinary decision to welcome him into the Master’s chair in order to cultivate friendships at Court, so soon after the Civil Wars when the Company and City had supported the Parliamentarian forces. Pepys was in effect a token Master, only making five appearances at Court during his year of office. In spite of this, he is considered our most famous past Master on account of his diaries (which sadly terminate before his year of office) and for his munificent gift of three pieces of plate to the Company, regarded as our finest treasures. They comprise a rosewater dish, ewer and a silver-gilt pierced and engraved loving cup, the latter thought by Pevsner to be ‘perhaps the most magnificent cup in the City’.

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ABOVE: Pepys loving cup attributed to Gerard Cooques, c1677 OPPOSITE: Portrait of Samuel Pepys by John Riley, c1680

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Fourth Hall (1668 – 1856) Following the Great Fire of London, what remained of the Hall was guarded day and night by watchmen and three dogs as opportunist lead thieves operated across the City. When the damage was assessed it was found that many of the walls, though badly fire-damaged, were part salvageable and the fourth Hall as originally built seems to have made use of the surviving structure, with the remaining walls refaced to hide their blackened appearance. The Company had been lucky. Its precious archives had been carried in wheelbarrows to the safety of Drury Lane and the Company was able to continue to meet in its chapel in Monkwell Street, bequeathed by William Lambe, Master 1569. In 1667, the then Master, Dennis Gawden, offered to fund the rebuilding of Clothworkers’ Hall, asking only that he be repaid when the Company was in a position to be able to do so. By 1668 the new Hall was complete. Maitland described it in 1708 as a: “noble rich building. The Hall is… a lofty Room adorned with wainscot to

the Ceiling where is curious Fret-work. The Screen at the South End is of Oak adorned with Pilasters, their Entablature and Compass Pediment is of the Corinthian Order enriched with their Arms and Palm Branches. The West end is adorned with the Figures of King James I and King Charles I, richly carved as big as the Like in their Robes with Regalia, all gilt with Gold, where is a spacious Window of Stained Glass” Despite the seemingly rushed build, the Hall stood for nearly two centuries, although clearly remodelled over the years. Archival evidence tells us a new Court Room leading from the Hall was erected in 1724-25, and the Mincing Lane façade of the building appears relatively new in an 1812 print. 14

Watercolour of the Hall courtyard by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, 1829

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Fourth Hall (1668 – 1856) Following the Great Fire of London, what remained of the Hall was guarded day and night by watchmen and three dogs as opportunist lead thieves operated across the City. When the damage was assessed it was found that many of the walls, though badly fire-damaged, were part salvageable and the fourth Hall as originally built seems to have made use of the surviving structure, with the remaining walls refaced to hide their blackened appearance. The Company had been lucky. Its precious archives had been carried in wheelbarrows to the safety of Drury Lane and the Company was able to continue to meet in its chapel in Monkwell Street, bequeathed by William Lambe, Master 1569. In 1667, the then Master, Dennis Gawden, offered to fund the rebuilding of Clothworkers’ Hall, asking only that he be repaid when the Company was in a position to be able to do so. By 1668 the new Hall was complete. Maitland described it in 1708 as a: “noble rich building. The Hall is… a lofty Room adorned with wainscot to

the Ceiling where is curious Fret-work. The Screen at the South End is of Oak adorned with Pilasters, their Entablature and Compass Pediment is of the Corinthian Order enriched with their Arms and Palm Branches. The West end is adorned with the Figures of King James I and King Charles I, richly carved as big as the Like in their Robes with Regalia, all gilt with Gold, where is a spacious Window of Stained Glass” Despite the seemingly rushed build, the Hall stood for nearly two centuries, although clearly remodelled over the years. Archival evidence tells us a new Court Room leading from the Hall was erected in 1724-25, and the Mincing Lane façade of the building appears relatively new in an 1812 print. 14

Watercolour of the Hall courtyard by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, 1829

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Fifth Hall (1860 – 1941) After a period of relative stagnation following the loss of its craft role, the Company’s affairs were reformed under the pioneering leadership of Thomas Massa Alsager, founder of The Times’ City Page and Master for the year 1836-1837. These reforms enabled the Company to enter a Victorian golden age during which its charitable activities continued to grow. The fourth Clothworkers’ Hall was not however in such a sound state. Nearly two hundred years old, the structure was deemed to be incommodious and even dangerous, through the ravages of dry rot, and Samuel Angell, the Company’s surveyor, recommended it be pulled down.

Angell’s proposed design for the interior of the fifth Hall, published in The Builder, 17 January 1857

Watercolour of the Livery Hall during a dinner by Percy William Justyne, 1857

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The Great Fire had caused great disruption to the trades

part in civic ceremonies such as Lord Mayor’s Day

and crafts in the City and began the process which led

processions on the Thames. It also continued to

to the almost complete divorce of The Clothworkers’

acquire new trusts, chief amongst which were the nine

Company from its root craft by the eighteenth

charities established by John and Frances West, which

century. However, the Company still had an important

included notable assistance for the blind, with which

role to play upholding its traditions and playing its

the Company became particularly associated. 17


Fifth Hall (1860 – 1941) After a period of relative stagnation following the loss of its craft role, the Company’s affairs were reformed under the pioneering leadership of Thomas Massa Alsager, founder of The Times’ City Page and Master for the year 1836-1837. These reforms enabled the Company to enter a Victorian golden age during which its charitable activities continued to grow. The fourth Clothworkers’ Hall was not however in such a sound state. Nearly two hundred years old, the structure was deemed to be incommodious and even dangerous, through the ravages of dry rot, and Samuel Angell, the Company’s surveyor, recommended it be pulled down.

Angell’s proposed design for the interior of the fifth Hall, published in The Builder, 17 January 1857

Watercolour of the Livery Hall during a dinner by Percy William Justyne, 1857

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The Great Fire had caused great disruption to the trades

part in civic ceremonies such as Lord Mayor’s Day

and crafts in the City and began the process which led

processions on the Thames. It also continued to

to the almost complete divorce of The Clothworkers’

acquire new trusts, chief amongst which were the nine

Company from its root craft by the eighteenth

charities established by John and Frances West, which

century. However, the Company still had an important

included notable assistance for the blind, with which

role to play upholding its traditions and playing its

the Company became particularly associated. 17


The Hall was demolished in 1856 and a new building erected according to Angell’s designs. Like many contemporary buildings in the City, it was Italian Renaissance in style and The Times dubbed it ‘one of the finest of which the City can boast’. The main entrance remained on Mincing Lane behind an imposing facade and the Livery Hall was on the first floor. Still oriented north - south, the building now took up most of the site and formed a single, though picturesque, block rather than being arranged around internal courtyards. The wealth of the Company was reflected in its sumptuous interiors, with ornate polychromed and gilded plasterwork and lavish use of polished granite and marble. The new Hall was opened by His Royal Highness ABOVE: Watercolour of the entrance to the Victorian Hall, 1867-1872 BELOW: Watercolour plan of the ground floor of the new Hall

Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, in 1860 who was presented with the Honorary Livery of the Company on the same day. Angela Burdett-Coutts, a keen proponent of social housing and George Peabody, the American philanthropist were notable Honorary Clothworkers during this period. The most opulent of any of the six Clothworkers’ Halls, the dignified appearance of the Victorian Hall caught the attention of ‘The Builder’, which printed an illustrated feature article in December 1916. The elevation to Mincing Lane in particular was considered ‘one of the best examples of the architectural treatment of the period.’ Despite an idea that the Hall be rebuilt in 1924 as part of a commercial office development, the Victorian Hall continued to serve the Company until World War Two struck; on the night of 10-11 May 1941, Clothworkers’ Hall was completely destroyed by enemy action. Fortunately no-one was killed or seriously injured at the Hall, although almost all the furniture and interiors were destroyed with the exception of a coat of arms, a small clock

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ABOVE: Photograph of the Grand Staircase in the fifth Hall, c1939

and four carved murals depicting the attributes of the Company – Loyalty,

BELOW: The Master and Clerk inspecting the bombed-out ruins in 1941

the archives and some paintings – withstood the flames, although no-one

Integrity, Industry and Charity. The basement vaults – and consequently dared open the strongroom doors until five days after the fires were extinguished. The Company’s plate also survived. Fortuitously, many pieces were on loan in America and the remainder had been evacuated south of the river. As the clear-up operation began, the Company took up business residence first at Great Tower Street, in the offices of Christ’s Hospital Foundation, and later 48 Fenchurch Street (a Company property). Company meetings and functions were held at Vintners’ Hall although other Livery Companies generously lent their Halls on occasion. It was seventeen years before the Company returned (to a new) home. 19


The Hall was demolished in 1856 and a new building erected according to Angell’s designs. Like many contemporary buildings in the City, it was Italian Renaissance in style and The Times dubbed it ‘one of the finest of which the City can boast’. The main entrance remained on Mincing Lane behind an imposing facade and the Livery Hall was on the first floor. Still oriented north - south, the building now took up most of the site and formed a single, though picturesque, block rather than being arranged around internal courtyards. The wealth of the Company was reflected in its sumptuous interiors, with ornate polychromed and gilded plasterwork and lavish use of polished granite and marble. The new Hall was opened by His Royal Highness ABOVE: Watercolour of the entrance to the Victorian Hall, 1867-1872 BELOW: Watercolour plan of the ground floor of the new Hall

Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, in 1860 who was presented with the Honorary Livery of the Company on the same day. Angela Burdett-Coutts, a keen proponent of social housing and George Peabody, the American philanthropist were notable Honorary Clothworkers during this period. The most opulent of any of the six Clothworkers’ Halls, the dignified appearance of the Victorian Hall caught the attention of ‘The Builder’, which printed an illustrated feature article in December 1916. The elevation to Mincing Lane in particular was considered ‘one of the best examples of the architectural treatment of the period.’ Despite an idea that the Hall be rebuilt in 1924 as part of a commercial office development, the Victorian Hall continued to serve the Company until World War Two struck; on the night of 10-11 May 1941, Clothworkers’ Hall was completely destroyed by enemy action. Fortunately no-one was killed or seriously injured at the Hall, although almost all the furniture and interiors were destroyed with the exception of a coat of arms, a small clock

18

ABOVE: Photograph of the Grand Staircase in the fifth Hall, c1939

and four carved murals depicting the attributes of the Company – Loyalty,

BELOW: The Master and Clerk inspecting the bombed-out ruins in 1941

the archives and some paintings – withstood the flames, although no-one

Integrity, Industry and Charity. The basement vaults – and consequently dared open the strongroom doors until five days after the fires were extinguished. The Company’s plate also survived. Fortuitously, many pieces were on loan in America and the remainder had been evacuated south of the river. As the clear-up operation began, the Company took up business residence first at Great Tower Street, in the offices of Christ’s Hospital Foundation, and later 48 Fenchurch Street (a Company property). Company meetings and functions were held at Vintners’ Hall although other Livery Companies generously lent their Halls on occasion. It was seventeen years before the Company returned (to a new) home. 19


Sixth Hall (1958 –) Plans to rebuild Clothworkers’ Hall were considered immediately after the War; yet, it was many years until building began, supervised first by Henry Tanner and later Herbert Austen Hall. Hall’s designs took their inspiration from classical architecture; the marble-columned Entrance Hall is said to have been based upon one of the great temples of Persepolis for example. However, many of the intended embellishments had had to be sacrificed due to cost in the austere post-war environment, and Hall’s vision was necessarilty diluted. Made of brick and Portland stone, the new Hall emerged ‘lightly clad in ABOVE: Watercolour of the Livery Hall by E.J. Fleming, c1958 BELOW: HRH the Duchess of Kent lays the Foundation Stone, 17 July 1956 OPPOSITE: Watercolour of the Livery Hall by Alexander Creswell, 1996

Georgian dress’, and in style typical of much post war construction in the City. It opened for business in 1958. In a break with the past the new Hall was approached through Dunster Court for the first time. Elements of continuity were nonetheless evident in the design, in recognition of the Clothworkers’ centuries-long association with the site: the entrance gates of the Victorian Hall were re-used and the Reception Room ceiling was modelled on the imposing barrel-vaulted plaster ceiling of its predecessor. Although enlivened by gifts of furniture and works of art from members, Pevsner described the interiors as ‘parsimonious’ and the rather stark and bare Hall dated quickly. The Company decided to create a home better befitting its status as a Great Twelve Company in 1985-1986. Employing Donald Insall and Associates, architects, the ceremonial rooms were extensively refurbished

20

in styles evoking the history of English Classicism

not however been forgotten and personalised features

from the period of Wren to the present, using

such as embroidered teasels, plasterwork griffins and

materials and techniques representing the best of

gilded rams’ heads may be found in every room.

British craftsmanship. These nods to the past were a deliberate ploy by A walk through the Hall is now a passage through

the architects to strengthen the symbolism of the

time, with Wren, Adam, Victorian and Art Deco

building, and the site, the Company’s meeting place

inspired interiors. The Company’s craft roots have

for over four and a half centuries. 21


Sixth Hall (1958 –) Plans to rebuild Clothworkers’ Hall were considered immediately after the War; yet, it was many years until building began, supervised first by Henry Tanner and later Herbert Austen Hall. Hall’s designs took their inspiration from classical architecture; the marble-columned Entrance Hall is said to have been based upon one of the great temples of Persepolis for example. However, many of the intended embellishments had had to be sacrificed due to cost in the austere post-war environment, and Hall’s vision was necessarilty diluted. Made of brick and Portland stone, the new Hall emerged ‘lightly clad in ABOVE: Watercolour of the Livery Hall by E.J. Fleming, c1958 BELOW: HRH the Duchess of Kent lays the Foundation Stone, 17 July 1956 OPPOSITE: Watercolour of the Livery Hall by Alexander Creswell, 1996

Georgian dress’, and in style typical of much post war construction in the City. It opened for business in 1958. In a break with the past the new Hall was approached through Dunster Court for the first time. Elements of continuity were nonetheless evident in the design, in recognition of the Clothworkers’ centuries-long association with the site: the entrance gates of the Victorian Hall were re-used and the Reception Room ceiling was modelled on the imposing barrel-vaulted plaster ceiling of its predecessor. Although enlivened by gifts of furniture and works of art from members, Pevsner described the interiors as ‘parsimonious’ and the rather stark and bare Hall dated quickly. The Company decided to create a home better befitting its status as a Great Twelve Company in 1985-1986. Employing Donald Insall and Associates, architects, the ceremonial rooms were extensively refurbished

20

in styles evoking the history of English Classicism

not however been forgotten and personalised features

from the period of Wren to the present, using

such as embroidered teasels, plasterwork griffins and

materials and techniques representing the best of

gilded rams’ heads may be found in every room.

British craftsmanship. These nods to the past were a deliberate ploy by A walk through the Hall is now a passage through

the architects to strengthen the symbolism of the

time, with Wren, Adam, Victorian and Art Deco

building, and the site, the Company’s meeting place

inspired interiors. The Company’s craft roots have

for over four and a half centuries. 21


Vestibule Wrought iron gates, a relic of the Victorian Hall, guard the entrance to the Vestibule. They bear the gilded monograms CWC for the Company,

ABOVE LEFT: The Entrance Vestibule ABOVE MIDDLE: Wrought iron gates ABOVE RIGHT: Foundation Stone BELOW: The porter’s hall chair

in a pattern of flowers and teasels. Within the Vestibule stands the Foundation Stone, laid by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent on 17 July 1956, exactly five hundred years to the day that a group of shearmen first acquired the site. Recent research has disproved the Stone’s bold statement that the present Hall is the fourth Livery Hall to stand on this site: the Company’s archives confirm that it is in fact the sixth. Below stands the Company’s treasure chest. Made from iron, it is dated

A TOUR OF CLOTHWORKERS’ HALL

1679 and bears the arms of Nuremburg. The front lock is false: the true lock lies under the boss on the lid. The porter’s hall chair is seventeenth century and made from oak. The hood was designed to keep draughts off the back of the incumbent during long evenings on the door. 23


Vestibule Wrought iron gates, a relic of the Victorian Hall, guard the entrance to the Vestibule. They bear the gilded monograms CWC for the Company,

ABOVE LEFT: The Entrance Vestibule ABOVE MIDDLE: Wrought iron gates ABOVE RIGHT: Foundation Stone BELOW: The porter’s hall chair

in a pattern of flowers and teasels. Within the Vestibule stands the Foundation Stone, laid by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent on 17 July 1956, exactly five hundred years to the day that a group of shearmen first acquired the site. Recent research has disproved the Stone’s bold statement that the present Hall is the fourth Livery Hall to stand on this site: the Company’s archives confirm that it is in fact the sixth. Below stands the Company’s treasure chest. Made from iron, it is dated

A TOUR OF CLOTHWORKERS’ HALL

1679 and bears the arms of Nuremburg. The front lock is false: the true lock lies under the boss on the lid. The porter’s hall chair is seventeenth century and made from oak. The hood was designed to keep draughts off the back of the incumbent during long evenings on the door. 23


Entrance Hall The Entrance Hall has the most modern appearance of the ceremonial rooms. A foil to the richer interiors of the first floor, the space possesses a distinct Art Deco character with travertine marble columns and pilasters and a proportionally low ceiling. A facsimile of the Company’s Foundation Charter, granted by King Henry VIII, hangs by the entrance. The seal, though modern, was cast from the original Great Seal matrix and attached to the Charter using traditional threads and stitches. Four trompe l’oeil panels by John O’Connor adorn

ABOVE: Tentering mural by John O’Connor, c1986 BELOW: Design binding of The Encyclopedia of Textiles by Jenni Grey

the north and south walls. They were introduced at the refurbishment in 1985-1986 to acquaint the first time visitor to the Hall with the Company’s root craft. Paintings on flat canvas, rather than carvings in stone, they depict mid-eighteenth century scenes of fulling, tentering, teaselling and shearing, the four main historical processes comprising clothworking. A life size replica pair of shearmen’s shears are displayed below the fourth mural, to give an indication of the skill and strength required for the shearing process. Three full length glass display cases display treasures

24

from the Company’s collections of archives and

and outstanding craftsmanship of the bindings, which

designer bookbindings. Approaching the Grand

include works by the renowned craftsmen Bernard

Staircase, the eye is drawn to the distinctive design

Middleton MBE and Jeff Clements MBE. 25


Entrance Hall The Entrance Hall has the most modern appearance of the ceremonial rooms. A foil to the richer interiors of the first floor, the space possesses a distinct Art Deco character with travertine marble columns and pilasters and a proportionally low ceiling. A facsimile of the Company’s Foundation Charter, granted by King Henry VIII, hangs by the entrance. The seal, though modern, was cast from the original Great Seal matrix and attached to the Charter using traditional threads and stitches. Four trompe l’oeil panels by John O’Connor adorn

ABOVE: Tentering mural by John O’Connor, c1986 BELOW: Design binding of The Encyclopedia of Textiles by Jenni Grey

the north and south walls. They were introduced at the refurbishment in 1985-1986 to acquaint the first time visitor to the Hall with the Company’s root craft. Paintings on flat canvas, rather than carvings in stone, they depict mid-eighteenth century scenes of fulling, tentering, teaselling and shearing, the four main historical processes comprising clothworking. A life size replica pair of shearmen’s shears are displayed below the fourth mural, to give an indication of the skill and strength required for the shearing process. Three full length glass display cases display treasures

24

from the Company’s collections of archives and

and outstanding craftsmanship of the bindings, which

designer bookbindings. Approaching the Grand

include works by the renowned craftsmen Bernard

Staircase, the eye is drawn to the distinctive design

Middleton MBE and Jeff Clements MBE. 25


A carved plaque, ‘Charity’, by Samuel Kelsey, inset above the doorway to the Court Luncheon Room, is a rare yet fitting survival from the Victorian Hall.

Court Corridor

The 1905 King’s Colour by

The Court Corridor connects the business and ceremonial rooms of

the south window is that

the Hall. At its centre, a display of the Thwaytes china, the Company’s

of the Scots Guards, with

distinctive maroon and gold Spode-Copeland dinner service, faces

whom the Company has an

the visitor, resplendent in a bespoke Brazilian mahogany cabinet.

affiliation. It was presented

The service is named after the benefactor to the Company, William

to the Company in 2011,

Thwaytes, a grocer by trade whose firm is understood to have

after extensive restoration.

supplied the tea that was tipped into the Harbour at Boston in 1773. The spur nearest the Entrance Hall is home to a new display of facsimiles of the Company’s Charters and Grants of Arms. For preservation reasons, the originals are kept in darkness in our vaults. Below stands a twentieth-century model of the Company’s barge. Any resemblance to the original vessel is probably accidental, in the absence of any surviving drawings; however, the Company did for almost two hundred years own a barge which was moored at Vauxhall, used principally for mayoral processions to Westminster. On one such occasion in 1803, the Company’s magnificent

TOP: Model of the Company’s barge, 1958

The Colour records the major battle honours of

ABOVE: ‘Charity’ mural by Samuel Kelsey, fl.1840-1877

the 1st Battalion including

LEFT: The Beadle’s mace, by Samuel Courtauld, 1755

Egypt – hence the addition

BELOW: The King’s Colour, 1905

Waterloo, Sevastopol and of the Sphinx at the bottom. The Lion Rampant of Scotland is the ancient badge of the Colonel of the Regiment, and the motto ‘en ferus hostis’ translates as ‘behold a fierce enemy’.

rococo style Beadle’s mace by Samuel Courtauld was dropped into the River. Account books in the archives record that the princely sum of £2 3s was paid to the poor soul who ventured into the filthy waters to retrieve it. 26

27


A carved plaque, ‘Charity’, by Samuel Kelsey, inset above the doorway to the Court Luncheon Room, is a rare yet fitting survival from the Victorian Hall.

Court Corridor

The 1905 King’s Colour by

The Court Corridor connects the business and ceremonial rooms of

the south window is that

the Hall. At its centre, a display of the Thwaytes china, the Company’s

of the Scots Guards, with

distinctive maroon and gold Spode-Copeland dinner service, faces

whom the Company has an

the visitor, resplendent in a bespoke Brazilian mahogany cabinet.

affiliation. It was presented

The service is named after the benefactor to the Company, William

to the Company in 2011,

Thwaytes, a grocer by trade whose firm is understood to have

after extensive restoration.

supplied the tea that was tipped into the Harbour at Boston in 1773. The spur nearest the Entrance Hall is home to a new display of facsimiles of the Company’s Charters and Grants of Arms. For preservation reasons, the originals are kept in darkness in our vaults. Below stands a twentieth-century model of the Company’s barge. Any resemblance to the original vessel is probably accidental, in the absence of any surviving drawings; however, the Company did for almost two hundred years own a barge which was moored at Vauxhall, used principally for mayoral processions to Westminster. On one such occasion in 1803, the Company’s magnificent

TOP: Model of the Company’s barge, 1958

The Colour records the major battle honours of

ABOVE: ‘Charity’ mural by Samuel Kelsey, fl.1840-1877

the 1st Battalion including

LEFT: The Beadle’s mace, by Samuel Courtauld, 1755

Egypt – hence the addition

BELOW: The King’s Colour, 1905

Waterloo, Sevastopol and of the Sphinx at the bottom. The Lion Rampant of Scotland is the ancient badge of the Colonel of the Regiment, and the motto ‘en ferus hostis’ translates as ‘behold a fierce enemy’.

rococo style Beadle’s mace by Samuel Courtauld was dropped into the River. Account books in the archives record that the princely sum of £2 3s was paid to the poor soul who ventured into the filthy waters to retrieve it. 26

27


The same craftsmen carved the firescreen, embroidered with the arms of the Company by former apprentices at the Royal School of Needlework, with which the Company has a long connection. Portraits of nineteenth and twentieth century Clerks to the Company adorn the walls and a splendid ebonized and ormolu bracket clock by John Ellicott, c1770, later updated by his son Edward, stands on a marble-topped Louis XVI giltwood console table. It was acquired at auction in 2001. Both Ellicotts were clockmakers to George III and former Masters of The Clothworkers’ Company. By 1782-1783 there were at least five Ellicott timepieces in the Hall and a number of early clockmakers were members of the

Drawing Room

Company.

The Company’s Arms The Company’s arms are an amalgamation of those of its predecessor guilds, with the tools of the clothworking trade, teasels and habicks, shown on the central shield. The crest is a golden ram – sheep and wool traditionally considered the source of the Company’s wealth – and spotted griffins form supporters. These are traditionally associated with

The mid-eighteenth century decorative scheme was introduced by the

the guardianship of treasure and enactment of good

architects at the refurbishment. Although the marble fireplace with its

deeds, and so continue to be fitting motifs for the

carving of Apollo the sun god and both looking glasses are antique pieces

Company in the modern era.

added at this date, the four carved and gilded girandoles are formidable examples of modern craftsmanship, based upon designs by Thomas TOP: A detail from the fireplace

28

Chippendale with the addition of hoho birds at the top.

LEFT: The Ellicott clock

The motto ‘my trust is in God alone’ was a common Protestant sixteenth century sentiment. 29


The same craftsmen carved the firescreen, embroidered with the arms of the Company by former apprentices at the Royal School of Needlework, with which the Company has a long connection. Portraits of nineteenth and twentieth century Clerks to the Company adorn the walls and a splendid ebonized and ormolu bracket clock by John Ellicott, c1770, later updated by his son Edward, stands on a marble-topped Louis XVI giltwood console table. It was acquired at auction in 2001. Both Ellicotts were clockmakers to George III and former Masters of The Clothworkers’ Company. By 1782-1783 there were at least five Ellicott timepieces in the Hall and a number of early clockmakers were members of the

Drawing Room

Company.

The Company’s Arms The Company’s arms are an amalgamation of those of its predecessor guilds, with the tools of the clothworking trade, teasels and habicks, shown on the central shield. The crest is a golden ram – sheep and wool traditionally considered the source of the Company’s wealth – and spotted griffins form supporters. These are traditionally associated with

The mid-eighteenth century decorative scheme was introduced by the

the guardianship of treasure and enactment of good

architects at the refurbishment. Although the marble fireplace with its

deeds, and so continue to be fitting motifs for the

carving of Apollo the sun god and both looking glasses are antique pieces

Company in the modern era.

added at this date, the four carved and gilded girandoles are formidable examples of modern craftsmanship, based upon designs by Thomas TOP: A detail from the fireplace

28

Chippendale with the addition of hoho birds at the top.

LEFT: The Ellicott clock

The motto ‘my trust is in God alone’ was a common Protestant sixteenth century sentiment. 29


Sir Owen Roberts was Clerk to the Company for forty

The focal point is however a fine early eighteenth

years from 1867. During his tenure, the Company

century Dutch marquetry bureau, presented by

became heavily involved in technical education

Commander Guy Latham, Master 1960-1961. Latham’s

following the final decline of the apprenticeship

portrait may also be seen in this room together with

system. The Clothworkers’ funded two textiles

those of a number of other twentieth century Masters.

departments at what is now the University of Leeds and continue to be the principal benefactor of the

An eighteenth century marquetry striking clock by

University today. Similar ventures at Bristol, Bradford

William Smith of London stands in the north-west corner.

and Huddersfield were also supported.

Its loud strike was found to be a distraction to deliberation

In the field of female education, the Company

and it was some years ago condemned to silence. BELOW: Sir Owen Roberts by Frank Holl, R.A., 1882

was governor of Mary Datchelor Girls’ School in Camberwell for nearly a century, and provided significant capital grants and exhibitions to the new female colleges at Oxbridge during the Victorian period. Notably, it also paid for its formal scholars to take the ad eundem degrees offered by Trinity College Dublin in 1904 – until this time women could attend university and sit exams, but were unable to come

Court Room

away with a formal qualification.

Here, the Master of the Company presides over

The grand Victorian character of this meeting room

meetings of the Court of Assistants, the Company’s

was enhanced at the refurbishment by the addition

governing body. To his rear stands a testimonial

of chandeliers based on early nineteenth century

portrait of Sir Owen Roberts, former Clerk and Master

Colza oil gasoliers. The large glass dishes made from

to the Company by Frank Holl, R.A.

German spectacle glass were imported flat and are said to have been the largest pieces of glass cut in Britain in the twentieth century. Similar examples may

LEFT: Detail of the Victorian style chandelier

30

be seen in the Mansion House. 31


Sir Owen Roberts was Clerk to the Company for forty

The focal point is however a fine early eighteenth

years from 1867. During his tenure, the Company

century Dutch marquetry bureau, presented by

became heavily involved in technical education

Commander Guy Latham, Master 1960-1961. Latham’s

following the final decline of the apprenticeship

portrait may also be seen in this room together with

system. The Clothworkers’ funded two textiles

those of a number of other twentieth century Masters.

departments at what is now the University of Leeds and continue to be the principal benefactor of the

An eighteenth century marquetry striking clock by

University today. Similar ventures at Bristol, Bradford

William Smith of London stands in the north-west corner.

and Huddersfield were also supported.

Its loud strike was found to be a distraction to deliberation

In the field of female education, the Company

and it was some years ago condemned to silence. BELOW: Sir Owen Roberts by Frank Holl, R.A., 1882

was governor of Mary Datchelor Girls’ School in Camberwell for nearly a century, and provided significant capital grants and exhibitions to the new female colleges at Oxbridge during the Victorian period. Notably, it also paid for its formal scholars to take the ad eundem degrees offered by Trinity College Dublin in 1904 – until this time women could attend university and sit exams, but were unable to come

Court Room

away with a formal qualification.

Here, the Master of the Company presides over

The grand Victorian character of this meeting room

meetings of the Court of Assistants, the Company’s

was enhanced at the refurbishment by the addition

governing body. To his rear stands a testimonial

of chandeliers based on early nineteenth century

portrait of Sir Owen Roberts, former Clerk and Master

Colza oil gasoliers. The large glass dishes made from

to the Company by Frank Holl, R.A.

German spectacle glass were imported flat and are said to have been the largest pieces of glass cut in Britain in the twentieth century. Similar examples may

LEFT: Detail of the Victorian style chandelier

30

be seen in the Mansion House. 31


The striking lighthouse chandelier recalls the Regency

a pastiche based on a bust which once stood on

period, but is in a fact a nineteenth century piece.

Lambe’s tomb.

The room also features a number of interesting

Through the windows can be seen the fifteenth-

paintings including a portrait of Giles Crompe Senior,

century tower of All Hallows Staining, underneath

the Company’s longest serving clerk (1766-1826) by

which stands the medieval Lambe’s Crypt. The

Samuel Lane, a deaf mute artist who studied under

churchyard of All Hallows Staining dramatically

Sir Thomas Lawrence, R.A. and Joseph Farington

marks the eastern limit of the Great Fire of London

and a charming oil painting, Hand Loom Weaving, by

in 1666 in this area – the open space of its churchyard

Edward Revers, 1887, presented anonymously through

acting as a natural firebreak after Clothworkers’ Hall

the University of Leeds in 1928.

succumbed to flames.

There is also a tudor-style portrait of William Lambe, Master 1569. It was painted in 1892 by a Miss Sprague,

BELOW: Hand-Loom Weaving by Edward Renard, 1887

Court Luncheon Room A nineteenth century style continues in the adjacent Court Luncheon Room, where the effects of the refurbishment are most pronounced: faux marble (hollow) pilasters on the north and south walls, and a dummy doorway on the west wall being added at the time to improve the balance and proportions of the room. 32

33


The striking lighthouse chandelier recalls the Regency

a pastiche based on a bust which once stood on

period, but is in a fact a nineteenth century piece.

Lambe’s tomb.

The room also features a number of interesting

Through the windows can be seen the fifteenth-

paintings including a portrait of Giles Crompe Senior,

century tower of All Hallows Staining, underneath

the Company’s longest serving clerk (1766-1826) by

which stands the medieval Lambe’s Crypt. The

Samuel Lane, a deaf mute artist who studied under

churchyard of All Hallows Staining dramatically

Sir Thomas Lawrence, R.A. and Joseph Farington

marks the eastern limit of the Great Fire of London

and a charming oil painting, Hand Loom Weaving, by

in 1666 in this area – the open space of its churchyard

Edward Revers, 1887, presented anonymously through

acting as a natural firebreak after Clothworkers’ Hall

the University of Leeds in 1928.

succumbed to flames.

There is also a tudor-style portrait of William Lambe, Master 1569. It was painted in 1892 by a Miss Sprague,

BELOW: Hand-Loom Weaving by Edward Renard, 1887

Court Luncheon Room A nineteenth century style continues in the adjacent Court Luncheon Room, where the effects of the refurbishment are most pronounced: faux marble (hollow) pilasters on the north and south walls, and a dummy doorway on the west wall being added at the time to improve the balance and proportions of the room. 32

33


William Lambe Born in Sutton Valence, Kent in 1495, William Lambe was described as a gentleman of the Royal Chapel. He benefitted from the dissolution of the monasteries and in 1543 he was granted the ancient Hermitage or Chapel of St James in the Wall at Monkwell Street by the monarch. Lambe is chiefly remembered for establishing almshouses and a grammar school at Sutton Valence, which the Clothworkers subsequently administered, and bringing fresh drinking water to the part of Holborn now known as Lamb’s Conduit Street. One of the Company’s greatest benefactors, Lambe left all his property to The Clothworkers’ Company at his death. The medieval crypt below the Chapel of St James was partially reconstructed underneath the Tower of All Hallows Staining when Monkwell Street was developed in the 1870s and is the setting for an annual commemoration service for Lambe. 34


William Lambe Born in Sutton Valence, Kent in 1495, William Lambe was described as a gentleman of the Royal Chapel. He benefitted from the dissolution of the monasteries and in 1543 he was granted the ancient Hermitage or Chapel of St James in the Wall at Monkwell Street by the monarch. Lambe is chiefly remembered for establishing almshouses and a grammar school at Sutton Valence, which the Clothworkers subsequently administered, and bringing fresh drinking water to the part of Holborn now known as Lamb’s Conduit Street. One of the Company’s greatest benefactors, Lambe left all his property to The Clothworkers’ Company at his death. The medieval crypt below the Chapel of St James was partially reconstructed underneath the Tower of All Hallows Staining when Monkwell Street was developed in the 1870s and is the setting for an annual commemoration service for Lambe. 34


Grand Staircase The Grand Staircase is clad in Italian Travertine marble

ABOVE: Seventeenth-century screenwork panel

The screenwork on the half landing

BELOW: Cedric the golden ram, by Jack Denny, c1968

below the tapestries is a relic from the

and ascends to a glazed dome,

fourth, seventeenth-century Hall. It

embellished with a frieze of

bears the monogram ciphers of King

plasterwork teasels and habicks

James I, the Company’s first royal

with gilded and addorsed ‘C’s’,

Freeman and of his son Charles I, and

for The Clothworkers’ Company,

originally stood below statues of both

added in 1986. Below hangs a

monarchs, commissioned from Mr

stunning set of eighteenth century

Bumpstead the carver for £40 in 1679,

Brussels tapestries depicting

although these no longer survive.

scenes from the story of Cyrus, King of Persia.

The Golden Ram at the top of the staircase is a favourite treasure. Cedric, a gilded three quarter lifesize model of a Dorset Horn ram, was worked by the amateur wood-carver and master tailor Jack Denny. He replaces a similar ram lost in 1941 and was presented by Cedric Morgan, Master 1968-1969.

36

37


Grand Staircase The Grand Staircase is clad in Italian Travertine marble

ABOVE: Seventeenth-century screenwork panel

The screenwork on the half landing

BELOW: Cedric the golden ram, by Jack Denny, c1968

below the tapestries is a relic from the

and ascends to a glazed dome,

fourth, seventeenth-century Hall. It

embellished with a frieze of

bears the monogram ciphers of King

plasterwork teasels and habicks

James I, the Company’s first royal

with gilded and addorsed ‘C’s’,

Freeman and of his son Charles I, and

for The Clothworkers’ Company,

originally stood below statues of both

added in 1986. Below hangs a

monarchs, commissioned from Mr

stunning set of eighteenth century

Bumpstead the carver for £40 in 1679,

Brussels tapestries depicting

although these no longer survive.

scenes from the story of Cyrus, King of Persia.

The Golden Ram at the top of the staircase is a favourite treasure. Cedric, a gilded three quarter lifesize model of a Dorset Horn ram, was worked by the amateur wood-carver and master tailor Jack Denny. He replaces a similar ram lost in 1941 and was presented by Cedric Morgan, Master 1968-1969.

36

37


Tapestries Commissioned for Empress Maria Theresa, the Hapsburg Empress, whose coat of arms appears at the top of each, the tapestries were woven in the workshop of the celebrated Franz and Jacob Van der Borght and are one of the last great sets made before the Brussels industry was extinguished in 1794. No cartoons have survived nor are any duplicate sets ever known to have been woven. The story is that of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire and is a complicated mixture of historical fact overlaid with legend. The largest tapestry shows Astyages, King of Media, marrying his daughter Mandane to a poorly regarded Persian named Cambyses in order to frustrate a dream that he would be overthrown by his grandson. The child, Cyrus, survived his grandfather’s attempts to kill him in infancy and is seen in the second tapestry in the set being recognised by his grandfather. A third tapestry now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston shows Astyages overthrown by his grandson while the fourth, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, shows Gobryas the Assyrian presenting his daughter to Cyrus. The fifth tapestry shows Cyrus restoring the Temple treasures to the Jews after their emancipation from Babylon. The full set was once in the possession of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, as a descendent of Empress Maria Theresa. They were later acquired by the Hapsburg family doctor (an Englishman) who brought the set to England where it was subsequently split. These three were at one time on display in

Reception Landing On formal occasions, guests are received by the Master on the Reception Landing, standing in front of an elegant stained glass window commemorating Samuel Pepys, Master 1677-1678. The window was designed and executed by Anthony Griffin, and presented by Viscount Hyndley, Master 1953-1954. The full length portrait is of Sir William Stone, c1605 (English or Netherlandish School) in its original frame. Stone was Master in the year the Company acquired its first royal Freeman, King James I of England and VI of Scotland. After dining in the house of a Clothworker in the City, James received the Freedom of the Company before proposing the following toast: ‘God bless all good Clothworkers, and God bless all good Clothwearers’ to which the assembled heartily cheered.

the House of Lords and were purchased with a legacy in 1970. 38

39


Tapestries Commissioned for Empress Maria Theresa, the Hapsburg Empress, whose coat of arms appears at the top of each, the tapestries were woven in the workshop of the celebrated Franz and Jacob Van der Borght and are one of the last great sets made before the Brussels industry was extinguished in 1794. No cartoons have survived nor are any duplicate sets ever known to have been woven. The story is that of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire and is a complicated mixture of historical fact overlaid with legend. The largest tapestry shows Astyages, King of Media, marrying his daughter Mandane to a poorly regarded Persian named Cambyses in order to frustrate a dream that he would be overthrown by his grandson. The child, Cyrus, survived his grandfather’s attempts to kill him in infancy and is seen in the second tapestry in the set being recognised by his grandfather. A third tapestry now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston shows Astyages overthrown by his grandson while the fourth, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, shows Gobryas the Assyrian presenting his daughter to Cyrus. The fifth tapestry shows Cyrus restoring the Temple treasures to the Jews after their emancipation from Babylon. The full set was once in the possession of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, as a descendent of Empress Maria Theresa. They were later acquired by the Hapsburg family doctor (an Englishman) who brought the set to England where it was subsequently split. These three were at one time on display in

Reception Landing On formal occasions, guests are received by the Master on the Reception Landing, standing in front of an elegant stained glass window commemorating Samuel Pepys, Master 1677-1678. The window was designed and executed by Anthony Griffin, and presented by Viscount Hyndley, Master 1953-1954. The full length portrait is of Sir William Stone, c1605 (English or Netherlandish School) in its original frame. Stone was Master in the year the Company acquired its first royal Freeman, King James I of England and VI of Scotland. After dining in the house of a Clothworker in the City, James received the Freedom of the Company before proposing the following toast: ‘God bless all good Clothworkers, and God bless all good Clothwearers’ to which the assembled heartily cheered.

the House of Lords and were purchased with a legacy in 1970. 38

39


Reception Room The magnificent plaster ceiling replicates one from the Victorian fifth hall but in its decorative scheme the room is meant to recall the late eighteenth century, specifically the work of John and Robert Adam. In Adam style, the Kidderminster carpet echoes the design of the ceiling, but does not copy it. Between the cornice and the curve of the vault at each end of the room are plasterwork portrait medallions of Samuel Pepys and Thomas Massa Alsager, considered to be respectively the Clothworkers’ most celebrated and most important Masters, added at the refurbishment. The spotted griffins either side are based on designs by Sheraton but are an appropriate motif given their presence in the Company’s arms.

ABOVE: Decorative details in the Reception Room BELOW: Civitella di Subiaco by Edward Lear, 1847

The wall coverings, made of blue silk and cotton damask, were specially woven for the Company by one of the last silk mills in Britain. The chandeliers are modern, and were made in Britain, although the droplets are Flemish. A landscape by Edward Lear, dated 1847, of the hilltop citadel Subiaco, just outside Rome hangs on the north wall. It was presented to the Company by Ralph Ommanney Moore, Liveryman, in 1961. Other paintings displayed here include fine half-length portraits of Samuel Pepys by John Riley, c1680, and Sir Robert Beachcroft, Lord Mayor of London, c1711, attributed to Richard Bleeck.

40


Reception Room The magnificent plaster ceiling replicates one from the Victorian fifth hall but in its decorative scheme the room is meant to recall the late eighteenth century, specifically the work of John and Robert Adam. In Adam style, the Kidderminster carpet echoes the design of the ceiling, but does not copy it. Between the cornice and the curve of the vault at each end of the room are plasterwork portrait medallions of Samuel Pepys and Thomas Massa Alsager, considered to be respectively the Clothworkers’ most celebrated and most important Masters, added at the refurbishment. The spotted griffins either side are based on designs by Sheraton but are an appropriate motif given their presence in the Company’s arms.

ABOVE: Decorative details in the Reception Room BELOW: Civitella di Subiaco by Edward Lear, 1847

The wall coverings, made of blue silk and cotton damask, were specially woven for the Company by one of the last silk mills in Britain. The chandeliers are modern, and were made in Britain, although the droplets are Flemish. A landscape by Edward Lear, dated 1847, of the hilltop citadel Subiaco, just outside Rome hangs on the north wall. It was presented to the Company by Ralph Ommanney Moore, Liveryman, in 1961. Other paintings displayed here include fine half-length portraits of Samuel Pepys by John Riley, c1680, and Sir Robert Beachcroft, Lord Mayor of London, c1711, attributed to Richard Bleeck.

40


Library The adjacent Library houses a small collection of specialised works used for reference by the Master, members and staff. It boasts an impressive gilded and painted plasterwork armorial ceiling, recoated in 1986. Portraits displayed here include Field Marshal Sir William Robertson, Honorary Liveryman, by John Singer Sargent, 1922, executed as a study for the group portrait ‘Some General Officers of the Great War’ now in the National Portrait Gallery, and a group portrait of the Company’s first fourteen Liverywomen, commissioned by the Company from June Mendoza in 1995. 42

Design binding of Tom Girtin’s The Golden Ram, 1958, by Christopher Shaw


Library The adjacent Library houses a small collection of specialised works used for reference by the Master, members and staff. It boasts an impressive gilded and painted plasterwork armorial ceiling, recoated in 1986. Portraits displayed here include Field Marshal Sir William Robertson, Honorary Liveryman, by John Singer Sargent, 1922, executed as a study for the group portrait ‘Some General Officers of the Great War’ now in the National Portrait Gallery, and a group portrait of the Company’s first fourteen Liverywomen, commissioned by the Company from June Mendoza in 1995. 42

Design binding of Tom Girtin’s The Golden Ram, 1958, by Christopher Shaw


Livery Hall

The Caged Bird’s Song

The Livery Hall is the focal point for a long tradition of fellowship and

The Caged Bird’s Song, designed by Chris Ofili

hospitality, spanning many centuries.

CBE and hand woven by the internationally renowned Dovecot Tapestry Studio in Edinburgh,

With its wooden panelling and minstrels’ gallery, its style evokes the

brings an unexpected burst of colour to the Livery

late seventeenth century, the great age of Sir Christopher Wren. Wren’s

Hall. A bold and vibrant triptych, the tapestry

architecture is often associated with the craftsmanship of Grinling

is based upon the artist’s ongoing interests in

Gibbons and at the refurbishment the limewood carvings embellishing

classical mythology and contemporary demi-gods,

the panelling were added in his manner by Anthony Harrington.

and is inspired by the stories, magic and colour of the Trinidadian landscape Ofili inhabits.

Full length portraits of some of the Company’s honorary members hang

ABOVE: Armorial stained glass by Hugh Easton, 1963 BELOW: Moth detail in the glass

on the north and south walls, and include HRH The Duchess of Kent by

The tapestry was commissioned by the Company

Michael Noakes and Princesses Alexandra and Marina, and Sir Robert

in 2013 as a powerful statement of its commitment

Menzies, former Prime Minister of Australia by Sir William Dargie.

to its root craft, in keeping with its wider support

Menzies presented the Company with the imposing Master’s chair,

in the field of textiles and desire to nurture talent

made from Australian black bean wood and carved with rams’ heads and

and support endangered skills.

tools of the clothmaking trade including habicks and shears. Dovecot is one of only two surviving tapestry The decorative scheme is enhanced by stained glass designed by Hugh

studios in the UK and it took a team of five master

Easton, responsible for the Battle of Britain window in Westminster

weavers over two and a half years to translate the

Abbey. Added in the 1960s, four of the five windows comprise the coats

artist’s watercolour design to the loom, skilfully

of arms of past Clothworker Masters, benefactors and Lord Mayors of

interpreting, replicating and magnifying all the

London. The central window bears the arms of the Company, above

bleeding of colour, fluidity and nuance of the

those of its predecessors the Fullers and Shearmen, with the golden ram

original medium.

traditionally considered the source of the Company’s wealth at its crest. The resulting piece, which adorns the west wall,

44

A small moth may however also be glimpsed in the bottom right

stands testament to the talent and artistry of the

hand corner of this window – perhaps the greatest of all the

weavers who successfully met the challenge Ofili

Company’s benefactors.

set them to ‘weave water.’

The Caged Bird’s Song (detail), 2014–2017. Wool, cotton and viscose © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Gautier Deblonde

45


Livery Hall

The Caged Bird’s Song

The Livery Hall is the focal point for a long tradition of fellowship and

The Caged Bird’s Song, designed by Chris Ofili

hospitality, spanning many centuries.

CBE and hand woven by the internationally renowned Dovecot Tapestry Studio in Edinburgh,

With its wooden panelling and minstrels’ gallery, its style evokes the

brings an unexpected burst of colour to the Livery

late seventeenth century, the great age of Sir Christopher Wren. Wren’s

Hall. A bold and vibrant triptych, the tapestry

architecture is often associated with the craftsmanship of Grinling

is based upon the artist’s ongoing interests in

Gibbons and at the refurbishment the limewood carvings embellishing

classical mythology and contemporary demi-gods,

the panelling were added in his manner by Anthony Harrington.

and is inspired by the stories, magic and colour of the Trinidadian landscape Ofili inhabits.

Full length portraits of some of the Company’s honorary members hang

ABOVE: Armorial stained glass by Hugh Easton, 1963 BELOW: Moth detail in the glass

on the north and south walls, and include HRH The Duchess of Kent by

The tapestry was commissioned by the Company

Michael Noakes and Princesses Alexandra and Marina, and Sir Robert

in 2013 as a powerful statement of its commitment

Menzies, former Prime Minister of Australia by Sir William Dargie.

to its root craft, in keeping with its wider support

Menzies presented the Company with the imposing Master’s chair,

in the field of textiles and desire to nurture talent

made from Australian black bean wood and carved with rams’ heads and

and support endangered skills.

tools of the clothmaking trade including habicks and shears. Dovecot is one of only two surviving tapestry The decorative scheme is enhanced by stained glass designed by Hugh

studios in the UK and it took a team of five master

Easton, responsible for the Battle of Britain window in Westminster

weavers over two and a half years to translate the

Abbey. Added in the 1960s, four of the five windows comprise the coats

artist’s watercolour design to the loom, skilfully

of arms of past Clothworker Masters, benefactors and Lord Mayors of

interpreting, replicating and magnifying all the

London. The central window bears the arms of the Company, above

bleeding of colour, fluidity and nuance of the

those of its predecessors the Fullers and Shearmen, with the golden ram

original medium.

traditionally considered the source of the Company’s wealth at its crest. The resulting piece, which adorns the west wall,

44

A small moth may however also be glimpsed in the bottom right

stands testament to the talent and artistry of the

hand corner of this window – perhaps the greatest of all the

weavers who successfully met the challenge Ofili

Company’s benefactors.

set them to ‘weave water.’

The Caged Bird’s Song (detail), 2014–2017. Wool, cotton and viscose © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Gautier Deblonde

45


The Caged Bird’s Song, 2014–2017 Wool, cotton and viscose Triptych, left and right panels each 280 x 184 cm; centre panel 280 x 372 cm © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Richard Valencia


The Caged Bird’s Song, 2014–2017 Wool, cotton and viscose Triptych, left and right panels each 280 x 184 cm; centre panel 280 x 372 cm © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Richard Valencia


On the left is seen a female figure, elegant and goddess-like, positioned at the edge of the scene, carrying crab-eye, a type of grass fed to songbirds so that they might sing more sweetly, and on the right, a male figure, carrying a songbird in a cage, a common sight in Trinidad. Both figures stand hidden behind curtains, drawn back to reveal an island paradise at the centre of the triptych. Here in an imagined landscape, in which a waterfall tumbles into the sea, a musician serenades his female companion who, in turn, receives a mysterious drink into a cocktail glass, poured from a Dionysian figure from the tree above. With the spray of the waterfall touching their faces, the lovers sit absorbed in the moment, unaware of eyes upon them, however fleetingly. Soon the curtains will close and their watery world disappear from view, just as storm clouds on the horizon threaten to shatter the calm of this arcadian vision.

Designed by Jamieson Eley Written by Jessica Collins

RIGHT AND FOLLOWING PAGE: The Caged Bird’s Song (detail), 2014–2017. Wool, cotton and viscose © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Gautier Deblonde

Produced by Jarrold Publishing www.jarrold-publishing.co.uk All photographs by Richard Valencia, JP Creative and Kate Darkins © Jarrold Publishing and Clothworkers’Hall 2017 92347 - 10/17


On the left is seen a female figure, elegant and goddess-like, positioned at the edge of the scene, carrying crab-eye, a type of grass fed to songbirds so that they might sing more sweetly, and on the right, a male figure, carrying a songbird in a cage, a common sight in Trinidad. Both figures stand hidden behind curtains, drawn back to reveal an island paradise at the centre of the triptych. Here in an imagined landscape, in which a waterfall tumbles into the sea, a musician serenades his female companion who, in turn, receives a mysterious drink into a cocktail glass, poured from a Dionysian figure from the tree above. With the spray of the waterfall touching their faces, the lovers sit absorbed in the moment, unaware of eyes upon them, however fleetingly. Soon the curtains will close and their watery world disappear from view, just as storm clouds on the horizon threaten to shatter the calm of this arcadian vision.

Designed by Jamieson Eley Written by Jessica Collins

RIGHT AND FOLLOWING PAGE: The Caged Bird’s Song (detail), 2014–2017. Wool, cotton and viscose © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Gautier Deblonde

Produced by Jarrold Publishing www.jarrold-publishing.co.uk All photographs by Richard Valencia, JP Creative and Kate Darkins © Jarrold Publishing and Clothworkers’Hall 2017 92347 - 10/17


CLOTHWORKERS’ HALL

CLOTHWORKERS’ HALL

Clothworkers’ Hall Dunster Court Mincing Lane London EC3R 7AH Tel: 020 7623 7041 email: enquiries@clothworkers.co.uk

www.clothworkers.co.uk

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Profile for The Clothworkers' Company

Clothworkers' Hall Guidebook  

© 2017.

Clothworkers' Hall Guidebook  

© 2017.

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