S. K. Sketches

Scope and Content

The folder contained a selection of 154 sketches dating from around the 1870s to the 1960s. Sizes range from tiny to extremely large. The vast majority of designs are preliminary or rough pencil or ink sketches, and almost all are on tracing paper. As such they are extremely fragile and items from this folder should only be produced in consultation with the Preservation Manager. Many of the designs feature sketches of items on display in museums. The 'S.K.' in the title probably refers to South Kensignton Museum, though many of the sketches are tracings of textiles and other items on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. On the outside of the folder was written 'K. Fragile Tracings, Please Handle Carefully' while inside there was a label with 'John B. Smith, 117 Hampstead Road, London NW.' inside the front cover, which probably relates to the manufacturer of the folder. Most sketches feature floral, Persian or oriental designs though there are also some of seemingly French origins which have trellis backgrounds and scrollwork, and resemble Templeton's Medallion range in style. There are designs by, amongst others, Gast, Frederick J Mayers and Silver Studio as well as a few sketches which resemble those by H. W. Batley, though they are not signed or ascribed as such. It should be noted that it is unlikely that Drawer 38 was this folder's permanent home, though its permanent location remains unknown. Why these designs were stored incorrectly is unclear. It is possible that these designs were being used by staff in the design department at the time of the transfer of the design archive, and were hurriedly put away instead of being correctly placed in their own drawers.