Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

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Monday, 6 October 2014

Kenwood: chess table.

More from the Tracks auction. Pete Shotton has several lots in the sale, including this - what's left of the chess table from the lounge at Kennie. In his own words: "This table was made specially for John when he moved into his house on St George’s Hill, Weybridge in 1964. It was the centre piece and focal point of his enormous lounge. Many of the world’s most famous musicians and rock stars sat at this table with John, including, of course, The Beatles. John loved this table, not only for its unusual design and beauty, but also because it served a very practical purpose for him. When he invariably used his guitar to compose a song he loved to sit on the floor with his legs crossed with the guitar in his lap, and sitting by this table was his favourite position because it was just the right height for him to rest his paper on to write the lyrics. My association with John is well documented. As his closest and lifelong friend I spent a great amount of time staying at his house and over the years up till 1968 when he met Yoko and moved to London. I sat with him many times at the table while he created some of his greatest compositions. Unfortunately my memory is fading these days regarding all the songs he wrote in my presence, however, the specific ones I do remember were I’m Only Sleeping, Ticket To Ride, Day Tripper, Sexy Sadie and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. I had been living at his house for about 6 or 7 months when one evening in 1968 he said he fancied a bit of female company and would I mind if he asked Yoko Ono over. We had stayed up all the previous night and all day as I told him I didn’t care what he did as I was going to have an early night. He told me that there was something about her that he liked but would I stay up till after she arrived in case he wasn’t comfortable with her. When she arrived by taxi, the first place John took her was into the lounge where the three of us sat round this table. I made some tea for us, and then after about half an hour John gave me a pre-arranged signal that he was ok, so I got to bed at last! That was the night that they fell in love! When John and Yoko moved to London and he put the house up for sale, he moved some of his furniture including the ‘chess’ table to a house he owned in nearby Esher. I moved into this house shortly afterwards and eventually bought it from him, including the contents, which is how I came to own the table. Unfortunately a number of the tiles got cracked and discoloured over the years so I had to have the tiles replaced in order to restore it to its original condition. However, the cast iron frame is the original one and I consider that what I did was the same thing as a car being restored from its chassis. This table would not only be a beautiful addition to any home but would also be a wonderful ‘conversation piece’ with its amazing history."

I wonder if the house in Esher is Quill Cottage.


  1. Very interesting! I had never seen this table before.

  2. I'm on my way to Le Merridian this morning. That chess table is mine. I've sold the kids' bikes and their pokeman collections. Keep telling them its all about priorities. They'll understand one day...

  3. Funny how it's never in any of the lounge photos of kenwood though unless I'm missing it. Would love to see a photo of it back then.