Pink Fire Pointer Lily Pond Table

Lily Pond Table

Lily Pond table
Photo via here

I am often amazed at how much I learn from my favorite blogs.  While happily reading through some recent postings on the Persephone Post, (part of their larger website which is chock-full of delightful information for book lovers) I spotted this image. It is the Lily Pond table designed and painted by British artist Duncan Grant  for the Omega Workshop around 1913.   I fell in love with this at Charleston in Sussex, England (the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant) when I visited there last September.  I learned that several of these tables were made by the Omega Workshop and that the one featured above is in an art gallery in Australia.

When I first saw the Lily Pond table at Charleston, I noticed how often the Bloomsbury artists used garden imagery in their creations.  Bringing the garden inside was something that they loved to do.  Because Charleston is in the country and surrounded by nature, it made sense that so many pieces of furniture, rugs, pillows, and wall coverings incorporated this theme.  It is one of the reasons the house is so exuberant -- flowers and leaves are everywhere.  The beautiful garden that is behind the house was often a subject of the paintings done by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

The Lily Pond table is in Maynard Kenyes' bedroom at Charleston.  He was such a frequent guest at Charleston that he was given his own room.  Can you imagine having this piece in your bedroom?  I remember that the table was in front of a window which had a beautiful view of the pond and the nearby countryside.  That side of the house would have been covered with beautiful white clematis in the summer.  It seemed like a wonderful room for sleep and a peaceful room for work.   Duncan Grant's design for the table was based on the goldfish pond in Roger Fry's garden at Durbins as seen from above.  The paint was poured in puddles, rather than carefully applied, to achieve a more free flowing effect.   After doing a little research, I wasn't surprised to find out that the Lily Pond table was one of the Omega's most popular patterns for painted furniture.

If you you love beautiful books and don't know about Persephone Books,  you should take a look at their website here. They also have two charming stores in London.   They reprint neglected novels, diaries, short stories and cookery books, mostly by women and mostly dating from the early to mid-twentieth century.  These books are beauties!  All are elegant paperbacks with a dust jacket.  They have dove-grey covers with cream labels and printed endpapers often of a fabric from the original year of publication. The books come with matching bookmarks inside.  You can buy the books on their website or if you are in London, go to their store!  The one I visited was very cozy and English, perfect for lingering and browsing through all the great titles.

A post card I bought when I was there

And by the way, I just found out that they will be publishing "A Writer's Diary" by Virginia Woolf this summer.  Something to look forward to!

Virginia Woolf
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Endpaper for the Persephone Post edition of "A Writer's Diary"
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