Oxford University launches furniture range to raise cashOxford University was accused of cheapening its image last night after the launch of a "vulgar" branded furniture collection.
By Tom Rowley and Lizzie Porter
The institution has put its name to a range of sofas, dining tables and interior accessories to capitalise on its links with the Harry Potter films.
Items in the collection – which supposedly each tell “the long history of this prestigious university” – include a striped washbag and a rug with a marble tile pattern.
Manufacturers hope the products, which are named after famous Oxford alumni and landmarks, will prove a hit with former students and wealthy Chinese consumers.
But the university’s own dons have called the furniture “meretricious” and “inappropriate”.
The range, which also incorporates desks, trunks and even leather footballs, launched at the Maison et Objet trade show in Paris last week.
Manufacturers told The Daily Telegraph they are in negotiations to sell the collection in Harrods, John Lewis and Selfridges.
The 400-year-old Bodleian Library gives its name to a £3,800 bookcase while John Radcliffe, physician to William III, is commemorated with a £1,700 red leather writing desk.
A £2,650 refectory table in the range, called The Oxford Collection, is described as a “Harry Potter-style dining table”.
Many of the scenes set in the Great Hall of Hogwarts in the blockbuster wizarding franchise were filmed in Christ Church’s dining hall.
Halo Licensing, the Hong Kong-based company that bought the rights to manufacture the furniture, also produces branded products for Kelly Hoppen, the interior designer, and Esquire, the men’s magazine.