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Side table: M.49-1997

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 11 (20th Century)


Maker: Williamson, Rupert




Osage orange and sycamore wood, with two horizontal wavy planks supported by two groups of three curved legs, held together and to the planks by curved elements that pass through them and protrude on the other side.
Made from timber of trees which were felled by the great storm of 1987 in Kew Gardens.


History note: Contemporary Applied Arts, 2 Percy Street, London, W1P 9F4

Legal notes

Gift of Sir Nicholas and Lady Goodison through the National Art Collections Fund.

Measurements and weight

Height: 89.8 cm
Length: 160.2 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1997) by Goodison, Nicholas and Judith


20th Century, Late#
Elizabeth II
Production date: AD 1996 : dated under the top


Made from the timber of trees in Kew Garden, London, felled by the storm of 1987.

Text from object entry in A. Game (2016) ‘Contemporary British Crafts: The Goodison Gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum’. London: Philip Wilson Publishers: This sculptural table was one of a number of pieces of furniture made from trees at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, blown down in the 1987 gales. Rupert Williamson studied at High Wycombe College of Art and Technology (now Buckinghamshire New University) and the RoyalCollege of Art in London where he was taught by David Pye (1914–93), finding his way of designing ‘with curves and colours’ did not entirely accord with Pye’s design philosophy. He established his first studio in 1962. Williamson is widely regarded as one of the foremost designer-craftsmen of furniture working today and has undertaken numerous private and public commissions including work for Norwich Museum, the Open University and the University of Oxford. For Williamson, his manual skills and knowledge of materials are integral to his design process. In 2014 a monograph on his work, The Furniture of Rupert Williamson, in which this table was illustrated, was published by Duval & Hamilton, explaining in detail how his work evolves – developing from sketches, models, computer-aided design (CAD), or a combination of these, as well as the choice of materials and the methods of construction. He was one of the designer/makers selected by David Savage for inclusion in his book, Furniture with Soul (2012).

School or Style

Contemporary Craft

Materials used in production

Osage orange

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Rupert Williamson/96
  • Location: Under the top
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in silver
  • Type: Maker's name and date
  • Text: KEW/WOOD/GALES/87
  • Location: Under the top
  • Method of creation: Inscribed on a circular brass disc
  • Type: Source of material

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.49-1997
Primary reference Number: 81974
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 22 December 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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