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The Earlshall Settle by Sir Robert Lorimer

An important oak Arts & Crafts settle designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, made by Whytock & Reid for Mr & Mrs RWR Mackenzie.

The top rail with turned finials above a sunken field centred by the inlaid date 1893 flanked by birds and the initials RWRM and JRSM, the triple panel back with feathered inlay and rosewood banding centred by a roundel with two birds in a branch, the flanking panels inlaid with a heart, above a solid seat flanked by downward scrolling arms, the panel front inlaid with exotic woods depicting a landscape with ivory geese coromandel trees and burr oak deer, on scroll feet.

Commissioned for RWR Mackenzie and his wife Jessie at Earlshall, Leuchars, Fife 1893

Contents sold with the castle to Sir Michael Nairn in 1926

The Castle and contents were gifted to his daughter Rachel on her marriage to Major Arthur Purvis

Rachel Purvis died 1981

Sold in Christies house sale Earlshall, lot 382 14 September 1983

Bought by a private collector, Fife.

Offered for sale Phillips Edinburgh, lot751, 26 August 2000

Sold London Trade

Sold to a private collector February 2002


Peter Savage, Lorimer and the Arts and Crafts Designers pl.121 &122

Anette Carruthers, The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland illustrates a very similar settle for his sister 1892 in the Los Angeles County Museum p183 pl. 174

Earlshall just outside Leuchars in Fife was Lorimers first commission as an independent architect. RWR Mackenzie was a bleach merchant from Perth and was a friend of the Lorimer family who lived at the nearby Kellie Castle. Like Lorimer he had great sympathy with the Arts and Crafts movement and commissioned him to renovate the ruined tower house and design the furniture. The settle is dated 1893 making it one of the earliest pieces of surviving furniture by Lorimer.

160cm wide x 59cm deep x 139cm high



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