Edward Barnsley

4 Results
Price
To
Apply

Edward Barnsley (1900-1987) was one of the most important British furniture makers of the 20th Century. He was born into a family of furniture makers. His father Sidney, uncle Ernest and their friend Ernest Gimson had been inspired by William Morris and embraced his radical ideas. In 1893 these three moved from London to the Cotswolds to put their beliefs into practice. They built their own houses using local materials and traditional techniques. They established workshops and made furniture generally from solid planks of timber. They celebrated the construction methods by exposing the tenons and dovetails. The furniture was often decorated with simple chip carving. Today Gimson and the Barnsleys are seen as key figures in the Arts and Crafts Movement and their influence on design has been immense.


In 1910, having spent his early years in the Cotswolds, Edward went to Bedales, the progressive school near Petersfield in Hampshire. The school encouraged the learning of practical skills and valued craftwork. In 1920 Edward went back to Hampshire to train in Geoffrey Lupton's workshop in Froxfield. As well as making furniture he worked with Lupton on the construction of the new library at Bedales, which had been designed by Gimson.


In 1923 Lupton emigrated and Edward took over the workshop retaining most of the employees. He made furniture very much in the Cotswold style. He inherited clients from Lupton and then from his father, who died in 1926. Unlike his father, who worked alone, Edward always employed craftsmen and apprentices. Under his leadership the workshop made around seven thousand individually crafted pieces. The workshop survived the difficult times of the depression and the war years keeping alive the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Edward gradually developed his own lighter style. He combined his father's influence with the elegant curves and fine inlay lines seen in the work of English furniture makers of the 18th century. As well as using the oak an d walnut favoured by the Arts and Crafts pioneers he used exotic timbers such as rosewood and blackbean. Electricity finally arrived at the workshop in 1955 and by using machines, less time was spent on the more laborious tasks like planing and sawing the rough timber. Edward had mixed feelings about increased mechanization because he felt that it was the craftsman’s handwork that gave each piece its individuality. Unlike some furniture designers he thought it was important to acknowledge the contribution of the skilled maker to the success of a piece of furniture.

In 1945 Edward was awarded the CBE for services to design. Outside the workshop Edward was a visiting lecturer at Loughborough College and he was a key figure in the formation of the Crafts Council.


In 1923 Lupton emigrated and Edward took over the workshop retaining most of the employees. He made furniture very much in the Cotswold style. He inherited clients from Lupton and then from his father, who died in 1926. Unlike his father, who worked alone, Edward always employed craftsmen and apprentices. Under his leadership the workshop made around seven thousand individually crafted pieces. The workshop survived the difficult times of the depression and the war years keeping alive the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Edward gradually developed his own lighter style. He combined his father's influence with the elegant curves and fine inlay lines seen in the work of English furniture makers of the 18th century. As well as using the oak an d walnut favoured by the Arts and Crafts pioneers he used exotic timbers such as rosewood and blackbean. Electricity finally arrived at the workshop in 1955 and by using machines, less time was spent on the more laborious tasks like planing and sawing the rough timber. Edward had mixed feelings about increased mechanization because he felt that it was the craftsman’s handwork that gave each piece its individuality. Unlike some furniture designers he thought it was important to acknowledge the contribution of the skilled maker to the success of a piece of furniture.

In 1945 Edward was awarded the CBE for services to design. Outside the workshop Edward was a visiting lecturer at Loughborough College and he was a key figure in the formation of the Crafts Council.

Filter Your Search
EDWARD BARNSLEY (1900-1987)
Nest of Three Walnut Tables by Edward Barnsley
A nest of three walnut tables by Edward Barnsley. Each with a rectangular top of shaped form with diagonally chamfered edges. England, circa 1949...
£2400
Holly Johnson Antiques
EDWARD BARNSLEY (1900-1987)
Rare Yew Cupboard by Edward Barnsley
A rare yew cupboard by Edward Barnsley (1900-1987). The top displaying open dovetails. The twin hinged front doors with panelling. Carved handles...
£5800
Holly Johnson Antiques
EDWARD BARNSLEY (1900-1987)
Walnut Piano Stool by Edward Barnsley
A walnut piano stool by Edward Barnsley. With a needlework top and storage compartment underneath. Stamped Barnsley. England, circa 1949. Dime...
£3200
Holly Johnson Antiques
EDWARD BARNSLEY (1900-1987)
Walnut Standard Lamp Attributed to Edward Barnsley
A walnut standard lamp attributed to Edward Barnsley. (1900-1987). The central shaft of octagonal form on a square base with blocked little feet,...
£1850
Holly Johnson Antiques