London: Paul Hamlyn, 1967. Folio (34.7 x 26.7 cm), 320 pages, printed in Italy, hard cover in dark blue cloth with raised designs, colour pictorial dust jacket price clipped, more than 1,100 photographic illustrations including a colour frontispiece, 52 colour Plates, b&w endpapers illustrating Robert Adam’s Garden Room ceiling at Osterley, Middlesex, UK. Near fine / Very good. Item #559
The Editor of World Furniture, Helena Hayward (1914-1997), led the new movement in furniture studies in England from the early 1960s when she succeeded in treating furniture as a serious art historical subject on a par with painting, sculpture and architecture. She achieved prominence for her books and furniture research, as a lecturer and Editor of The Connoisseur’s Handbook of Antique Collecting, and her key posts in such organisations as the Furniture History Society. The book World Furniture, the first comprehensively illustrated history of furniture throughout the world, has 130,000 words of texts provided by Hayward’s 25 contributors. The leading London newspaper The Independent published her lengthy obituary in February 1997.
Helena Hayward was the daughter of Sir Henry Martyn KCVO, surgeon apothecary to the Royal Household at Windsor Castle who attended King George V. Helena was educated near London, at Heidelberg and Florence, and in Paris where she resided with the same family as the memoirist and art critic Diane Holman Hunt, granddaughter of William Holman Hunt, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. Helena was first employed at the Courtauld where she met John Hayward, later a Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and an international authority on Renaissance goldsmiths. After their marriage, the Haywards made annual art gallery excursions to France, Italy or Germany, speaking only the language of the country they were visiting, and eventually becoming highly influential in England in imparting their great depth of knowledge to new generations of students.