REF No. 6901
An Exhibition Quality Georgian Writing Table Stamped by Gillows of Lancaster
H: 29 in / 74 cm W: 55 in / 141 cm D: 32 in / 81 cm
Constructed in Goncalo Alves, the tapered and fluted baluster ends supported by a block form base with a lobed platform and a running pearl edging, above scrolled feet of foliate design, with sunken brass castors; the top having radiused corners, with a lobed edge, and in the frieze, two mahogany lined drawers with quadrant mouldings, between a bead and reel moulding. Stamped to the carcase, ‘Gillows Lancaster’. Circa 1825.
This design for a table appears on many occasions between 1822 and 1830 in the Gillows Sketchbooks, held in the City of Westminster archives.
The founder of the Gillows dynasty, Robert (1704-1772) rose from humble beginnings as a provincial joiner, and evolved into a consummate businessman following a pursuit of excellence throughout his life.
Founding his business in 1730 he expanded his furniture making activities to include the direct import of quality West Indian timbers especially the finest mahogany. His talents as both a cabinetmaker as well as innovative designer brought him early success, and, bringing his two sons, Richard & Robert, into the business, he expanded his Lancaster showroom, to include another in London’s Oxford Street. The clientele now included the Government, the aristocracy and the burgeoning middle classes. His furniture had gained its’ reputation for excellence of workmanship, and materials employed, and coupled with his insistence on being at the cutting edge of design kept the company to the fore throughout its’ one hundred and seventy year history from 1730 until its’ amalgamation with Messrs S.J. Waring in 1900. Throughout this period it was the largest manufactory of furniture in England. The fortuitous survival of the Gillows records in their Estimate Sketch Books show over 20,000 designs and are preserved in the City of Westminster Library. Furniture made by Gillows is to be found in Royal collections and museums throughout the world. The recent publication of Susan E. Stuart’s scholarly and invaluable study on the company, published by the Antique Collectors Club is a masterpiece of its’ type, and a wonderful exegesis of the company.