In the archive at Goldsmiths College are a number of photographs of pieces of furniture made for members of the Pinwill family and in 2005 were in the ownership of Robert Sumner Ward, great nephew of Violet Pinwill. In addition, there are other items discussed with members of the family, who have described them and/or sent photographs to the author.
Looking Glass Frame – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); 1899
This is a beautifully carved piece of work, reminiscent of Grinling Gibbons in its design. It was made by Violet as a present for the marriage of her sister Bertha to Robert R. Conway in 1899. It measures 36” x 27” and is made of two pieces of oak. The letters ‘R’ and ‘B’ are either side at the top, while a ‘C’ joins the two halves together at the bottom.
Cupboards (2) – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); early 1900s
These oak cupboards were made by Violet for the nursery of the children of her sister Bertha: Catherine, Alice and Constance, born 1902, 1904 and 1907 respectively. One cupboard is 60” high, 33” wide and 12” deep, and the other is 54” high, 38” wide and 12” deep. They are decorated with pieces of running ornament ‘left over’ from church screens, etc., some of which are undoubtedly ancient. The second of these cupboards also appears in a photograph of a large group of pieces of household furniture in PWDRO 116/123.
Seats (3) and Footstool – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); probably early 1900s
This photograph shows three seats and a footstool in oak very much in a rustic style. Two of the seats also appear in a photograph of a large group of pieces of household furniture in PWDRO 116/123 that includes the cupboard mentioned above, which is dated to early 1900s by Robert Ward, great nephew of Violet Pinwill.
Cupboard – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); 1921
This tall, much more plain, oak cupboard was made by Violet in memory of Constance Conway, youngest daughter of her sister Bertha, who died in 1921 of meningitis. It is inscribed ‘Constance Conway, 1907-1921’ and is 72” high, 33” wide and 13” deep.
Coat of Arms – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); probably 1917 to 1927
Bertha’s husband Robert R. Conway was headmaster of Weymouth College between 1917 and 1927. This Coat of Arms of the College was probably carved in oak during that time.
Chest – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); 1933
Bertha’s daughter Alice, who was also Violet’s god daughter, married Leonard Sumner Ward in 1933 and was given this oak chest by Violet as a wedding present. The picture on the front is of St Nicholas and it measures 39” wide, 18” deep and 25” wide.
Cupboard – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); 1936
The door of this oak cupboard bears a low relief carving of the ship Hertzigan Cecile, wrecked off Start Point in April 1936 and witnessed by Violet Pinwill, who carved the picture soon afterwards. On the bottom panel of the cupboard are swimming fish that represent Davy Jones’ locker. The cupboard measures 44” high, 11” deep and 16” high.
Dressing Table – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); 1938
Alice Ward’s son Robert was born in 1938 and Violet made this oak dressing table as a christening present. It is decorated with carvings of birds and rabbits and measures 54” high, 29” wide and 17” deep.
Plaque – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); 1941
Violet made this oak plaque for her great nephew Robert Ward in 1941. It features low relief carvings of rugby players on one side and hurdlers on the other. On the back is written ‘From photographs about 1935 (carved at Plymouth)’. The design is very similar to panels of sporting events made for Plymouth Youth Committee. It measures 26” x 9”.
Box Stool – Photograph (Goldsmiths College Pinwill Archive); date unknown
This box stool has carvings on three sides: wolves (possibly foxes), an eagle, and, rather surprisingly, penguins.
Bookcase – Family collection; date unknown
Sideboard – Family collection; date unknown
Sideboard with dresser over – Family collection; date unknown
Bench with carved back – Family collection; date unknown