Louis Osman (1914-1996)
Christmas Card, Byford Court, 1985
22 x 31cm
Gouache and ink on paper

This characterful card was sent by Louis Osman and his wife Dilys, whom he had married in 1940. Written and painted in 1985, it features an ink sketch and gouache painting of the porch entrance to Byford Court, with handwritten notes about the house’s significance. Osman moved to Byford Court in 1976, following a brief brush with bankruptcy.

Osman attended the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Slade School of Art, and became a Donaldson Medallist of RIBA in 1935.

In the late 1930s he took part in the British Museum and British School of Archaeology expeditions to Syria. After war service he worked in London designing buildings, furniture, tapestries, and glass including work in Westminster Abbey, Lincoln, Ely, Exeter and Lichfield Cathedrals. He also did work for the National Trust at Staunton Harold Church in Ashby de la Zouch.

Before moving to Byford Court, Osman and his wife lived at Canons Ashby House in Northamptonshire. Whilst there, they made the crown used at the investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales. In 1976, they also made the gold enamelled casket holding the Magna Carta on view in the United States Capitol, Washington, DC for the United States Bicentennial.

Some discolouration to paper.