I arranged last weekend to visit 31 Fournier Street as I was tipped off that it had a wonderful exhibition of textile designs. What I wasn’t told is that the house itself is an amazing survival of old Spitalfields with original panelling throughout discovered under old plasterboard by Rodney Archer when he bought the house in 1980 off an Indian taxi firm.
This is the overdoor and window surround on the street:-
The house backs onto workshops and yards, including the profile of Worrall House, built by Samuel Worrall, the original builder of Fournier Street:-
Most of the house is now used for occasional, changing exhibitions, organised by Trevor Newton, an ex-schoolmaster, artist and antique dealer, including the current one of French nineteenth-century textile designs, which are pinned to the wall with blu-tack. I was delighted to see the newly displayed upstairs bedroom with its Bloomsbury-ish mix of pottery, drawings and bric-a-brac:-
Also upstairs is the grandest of the rooms, complete with a fireplace which Rodney rescued from Oscar Wilde’s house in Tite Street:-