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91/81 Sideboard, oak / metal, designed by Edward William Godwin, made by William Watt, England, 1867-1880. Click to enlarge.

Sideboard designed by Edward William Godwin

Made 1867-1880
Edward William Godwin (1833-86) was one of the most important designers of the English design reform movement in the second half of the 19th century. He was an active and influential member of the Aesthetic Movement and the first 19th century English furniture designer to turn to Japanese art for inspiration. His emphasis on the need to reconcile function and design, utility and beauty did much to redirect Victorian design and is now believed to have influenced the direction of 20th century design. The Anglo-Japanese sideboard is one of the earliest pieces of furniture by Godwin and expresses his enthusiasm for Japanese design as well as the importance he attached to function, lightness and simplicity. The sideboard remained his most radical Japanese-inspired design and is his best known piece of furniture.


Object No.


Object Statement

Sideboard, oak / metal, designed by Edward William Godwin, made by William Watt, England, 1867-1880

Physical Description

Sideboard in two parts. The base is stained oak with a rectangular top and hinged side flaps above a central frieze drawer and two short drawers that are flanked by two cupboard drawers above open shelves. The whole rests on square section legs. There are iron strap hinges and brass handles throughout. The top of the sideboard has two cupboards at either end with quartered panelled doors. The cupboards are joined by a shelf and set in exposed framework with vertical members extending above the cupboards and below to the top of the base.


No marks



1081 mm


1062 mm


51 mm





The sideboard was designed by Edward William Godwin and made by William Watt in England between 1867 and 1880.


Credit Line

Purchased 1991

Acquisition Date

28 February 1991

Cite this Object


Sideboard designed by Edward William Godwin 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 May 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Sideboard designed by Edward William Godwin |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 May 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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