Through the window

Thomas Pole watercolour 1806
I have had a postcard of this watercolour for a while, bought from the Geffrye Museum in 2003 when they held a lovely series of exhibitions on domestic interiors called Home and Garden.

The watercolour is titled: A view through the window into the garden, with a lady writing, at 14 St James’s Square. It is attributed to Dr Thomas Pole, a Quaker minister. But it may have been painted by his daughter. And presumably that is she, writing, at their home in Bristol in 1806.

I like lots of things about this picture. The strict perspective of the window and garden, carried through to the desk and, disconcertingly, to the figure of the woman. I like the colours, muted and so very National Trust Georgian. I like her super (muslin or lawn, I guess) dress and cap.

In particular, though, I like her books and her industry. Her smart ink pot. I’d really like to be able to read the titles on the spines of the books filling the shelves.

And leaf through the (surely) thick, crinkly-papered, leather bound books strewn across her desk.


Carol Morehead

Though it is all charming, and a peek into the past, I am struck by the vines on the narrow pathway and how elegant they look. I want to try that in a garden! C

shelf appeal

Well, I don’t even have a house plant, never mind a garden. So the interiors do it for me. Not to say I wouldn’t like to perambulate their garden, though.


Was that series of exhibitions really that long ago? They were so good, weren’t they. I’d like to see the series over again. I remember that this little lovely piece caught my eye too – I used to work in St James Square.

shelf appeal

How nice to work there. And yes the exhibitions were that long ago, time flies a bit too quickly.


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