Furniture

Salon-Prayer Bench Prie-Dieu
French, 17th century
Location: EBB Salon

This prayer stand made of knotty pine and cedar, with inlaid paneling, was used at Casa Guidi and later in Pen Browning's home, Palazzo Rezzonico, in Venice. The prie-dieu was presented to the Library in 1959 by Mrs. Guy Campbell of Washington D.C., a niece of Fannie Coddington Browning.

Furniture-Persion Table Inlaid Table
Persian, c. 1600s
Location: Treasure Room

 

This beautifully designed table was purchased by Robert Browning in 1889 while he was staying with his son at Palazzo Rezzonico in Venice. Styled after Middle Eastern designs, the top of the table is inlaid with mother-of-pearl, with alternating geometrical patterns of inlaid ebony and ivory around the margins. The legs and cross trestles are also inlaid with ivory. The table was obtained in 1959 from Mrs. Guy Campbell of Washington, D.C., a niece of Pen Browning 's wife, Fannie Coddington Browning.

Furniture-EBB Desk Sofa Table
English, c. 1810
Location: EBB Salon

 

This drop-leaf table, with a rosewood top, is inlaid with birds-eye maple and walnut. Elizabeth and her sisters, Henrietta and Arabella, received similar tables from their grandmother, Elizabeth Moulton. It is fabled that Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous Sonnets from the Portuguese were composed on this table during her residence at 50 Wimpole Street.

The two side chairs pictured with the desk have olive-wood frames and wicker bottoms. They were used at Casa Guidi and given by Robert Browning to the Edmund Tweedy family. The chairs were given to the Library in 1968 by Mrs. Mellick Tweedy of San Angelo, Texas.

Furniture-RB Chair Desk Chair
Location: Entrance Foyer

On loan from the Yale University Art Gallery

Robert Browning's wicker-bottomed, mahogany chair was a gift to Yale English professor William Lyon Phelps from his students and has been on loan to the Armstrong Browning Library from the Yale University Art Gallery since 1989. Originally owned by Browning's father, Robert Browning, Sr., the chair was paired with the poet's desk in his London study at 29 DeVere Gardens when he returned from Italy in 1861 after his wife's death.

Furniture-RB Desk Partner's Pedestal Writing Desk
Location: Entrance Foyer

It is believed that Robert Browning wrote some of his greatest poetry at this desk at both his Warwick Crescent and DeVere Gardens homes. It is the central feature in Felix Moscheles' watercolor entitled Robert Browning's Study. The double-sided desk is mahogany with a black inlaid leather top. It was presented to the Library in 1949 by the Raleigh Hotel of Waco, Texas, and Mrs. C. H. Alberding of Chicago, Illinois.

Brownings Chair Mahogany Folding Chair
Location: Treasure Room

This mahogany and green velvet folding chair with hand-carved arms and legs belonged to the Brownings during their residence at Casa Guidi. Originally upholstered in red, it can be seen in George Mignaty's 1861 painting of their Florentine drawing room, which is displayed in the Austin Moore-Elizabeth Barrett Browning Salon on the third floor of the Library. The chair was a gift to the Library in April 1951 from the Lakeside Browning Club of Dallas, Texas.

Treasure Room-RB Italian Desk Escritoire
Italian, c. 1650
Location: Treasure Room

This writing desk, which the Brownings bought in Florence during their honeymoon, has a folding top and a pull-down front with an elaborate, hand-carved floral design ornamenting the desk's exterior. It is fitted with 12 drawers and was a convenient height for the poet to stand and write.

It was purchased from the Browning estate at the 1913 Sotheby Sale by Mrs. Florence Barclay, who left it to her daughter, Mrs. Angela Whitcombe. Mrs. Whitcombe stored the desk with a friend, who mistakenly sold it to Andrew Burden, who then offered it for sale to the Library. The entire purchase price, including shipping charges was $644.14. Funds for the purchase were provided by the Lambda Alpha Chapter of Baylor's honorary English society, Sigma Tau Delta.