The form of this corner cabinet reflects the simplicity and elegance of Chinese design, a source of inspiration, together with Japanese art, to many artists in the Aesthetic Movement. Depicted in the Pre-Raphaelite style in the central panel is Lucretia, a Roman matron whose suicide after being violated by the son of the king of Rome caused an uprising that resulted in Rome becoming a republic. Lucretia's virtues are inscribed in the halos of the two figures on side panels: CASTITAS (chastity) and FORTITUDO (courage).
Artist Edward William Godwin, English, 1833-1886
Artist Charles Fairfax Murray, English, 1849-1919
Manufacturer Collinson and Lock
  • Corner Cabinet
Date 1873
Medium Rosewood, painted panels, brass
Dimensions Overall: 74 7/8 × 31 1/8 × 25 1/8 inches (190.2 × 79.1 × 63.8 cm)
Overall (cabinet): 39 1/4 × 31 1/8 × 25 1/8 inches (99.7 × 79.1 × 63.8 cm)
Overall (base): 35 5/8 × 31 1/8 × 22 inches (90.5 × 79.1 × 55.9 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts General Fund and the Honorarium and Memorial Gifts Fund
Accession Number 1985.1
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View Modern N2BB, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed, on central panel of Lucretia, for: CFM [for Charles Fairfax Murray]
Marks Stamp, inside third drawer: COLLINSON & LOCK
Stamp, inside top drawer: EDWARDS & ROBERTS
Inscriptions Inscribed, ob central panel of Lucretia: Lucretia Nimbus
Inscribed, on left door: CASTITAS
Inscribed, on right door, on Halo: FORTITUDO
Lord Glenconnor (Colin Tennant);
Haslam and Whiteway Ltd., London, England);
1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
The Furniture Gazette, September 7, 1878, p. 158.

The Furniture Gazette, March 1, 1879.

The British Architect, July 12, 1878.

Masterpieces of the Centennial Exhibition, vol. II. Philadelphia, 1876, p. 168.

Bulletin of the DIA: Annual Report 62, no. 2 (1985): p. 32 (fig. 23).

Aslin, E. E.W. Godwin: Furniture and Interior Decoration. London, 1986, p. 17, no. 42, (figs. 18, 42).

In Pursuit of Beauty: American and the Aesthetic Movement. Exh. cat., Metropolitain Museum of Art. New York, 1986, pp 150-151( fig. 5.9).

Barnet, P. "From the Middle Ages to the Victorians." Apollo 124, no. 298 (December 1986): p. 505.

Kinchin, J. "Collinson and Lock, manufacturers of artistic furniture." Connoisseur 201, no. 807 (May 1979): p. 51 (fig. 8).

Cooper, Jeremy. Victorian and Edwardian Décor: From the Gothic Revival to Art Nouveau. New York, 1987, p. 141 (ill.), fig. 330.

Darr, A.P. "European sculpture and decorative arts acquired by the Detroit Institute of Arts 1978-87." The Burlington Magazine 130 (June 1988): p. 500 (fig. 115).

Weber Soros, Susan. The Secular Furniture of E. W. Godwin. New Haven, 1999, p. 208 (ill.), no. 332.

1900 British Masters. Exh. cat., Oscar Graf Decorative Arts at TEFAF, New York, 2017. Paris, 2017, pp. 6, 10 (ill.).