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Letter Rack

A.W.N Pugin designed every detail of the New Palace of Westminster after the old building was destroyed by fire in 1853. He even designed small stationery items like this silver plated letter rack and pen tray which are currently in daily use in the House of Commons Library. The back plate is pierced with a crowned portcullis and leafy gothic foliage. On a number of these letter racks there is a cypher engraved onto the sides with the letters “HCL” which perhaps stand for House of Commons Library. Pugin believed that all decorative elements should also be practical and serve a purpose. It is therefore not surprising to see that the screws along the bottom of the letter rack are in the shape of flowers. These items were probably made by John Hardman & Co., Birmingham.