I realize that all colleges and universities have to do what they can in these tough economic times. But it’s rather shocking that Oxford University, with its current campaign to raise a minimum of £1.25 billion, has licensed the use of its name to a firm in Hong Kong which will be making a range of Oxford furniture.I always think it is strange to claim a place that’s not your own. As someone put it, “you either look like a sad sack for trumpeting your credentials with furniture (as opposed to intelligence) or a fraud for buying furniture with the crest of somewhere you never went.”The licensing company puts it this way, “Each piece in the range has a relevance to the University, its Colleges, buildings or the unique heritage of the place, and has been produced to the exacting standards of quality and craftsmanship that one would expect for a range that carries the name - The Oxford Collection.”The prices I’ve seen, although they’re not on the Oxford Collection’s website, are rather eye-watering. The tutor’s chair is £780 ($1277) and the Radcliffe desk is £1,700 ($2675). But saying all that, there are a couple of pieces I rather like. This rug reminds me of the front hall of the first house where I lived in Wales. This suitcase is fun, but I can’t imagine lugging it around.
For the rest of the collection, click here.