A design for a cabinet depicting good and bad animals. The cabinet itself was probably designed by Philip Webb and then painted by Burne-Jones with the scenes. It was Burne-Jones's gift to his bride, Georgiana MacDonald on 9 June 1860. In her 'Memorials', Georgiana Burne-Jones described its origins thus:' In the unsettled week before his marriage Edward had amused himself by painting some figures upon a plain deal sideboard which he possessed, and this in its new state was a delightful surprise to find. 'Ladies & Animals' he called the subjects illustrated, and there were seven pictures, three on the cupboard doors in front, and two at each end, which showed them in various relations to each other. Three kind and attentive ladies were feeding pigs, parrots and fishes; two cruel ones were tormenting an owl by forcing him to look at himself in a round mirror, and a goldfish by draining him dry in a net; while two more were expiating such sins in terror at a hideous newt upon the garden path and the assault of a swarm of angry bees.' (Vol. I, pp 206-207) The cabinet was given to the V&A by the artist's daughter Margaret Mackail in 1953. It appears in the watercolour drawing by T.M. Rooke (1842-1942) of the Dining Room at Burne-Jones's house, The Grange, made in 1898.

  • Presented by W M Keeley, 1971.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
- - - 1860


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones
Georgiana Burne-Jones 1904 Macmillan & Sons Vol. I; pp. 206-207
Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
2007 Dan Giles, Ltd., London p. 74

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