H: 29 in / 74 cm | W: 36 in / 92 cm | D: 23 in / 59 cmDescription
Constructed in a beautifully marked coromandel: rising from bronze castor shod swept reeded legs, the ends housing vertical frames enclosing triple tapering and turned spindles supporting a shaped rectangular platform with re-entrant corners, and dressed with a bronze edging guard; the underside of the platform has an old inventory label noting the table to be the property of the Marchioness Dowager of Bath.
Elizabeth, Dowager Marchioness of Bath (1735 – 1825), was noted in The Gentlemen’s Magazine, in the January 1826 publication announcing her obituary. She passed at 92 years of age on December 12, at her house in Lower Grosvenor-street, London. She was the eldest daughter of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, and Duchess Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, formally Lady Margaret Harley, daughter of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, and who was recorded as the richest woman in Great Britain of her time. Elizabeth was married to British politician, Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath (1734-1796), who held office under George III serving as Southern Secretary, Northern Secretary and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It has been recorded that the couple had private residences in London and at Longleat House, a country house just out side of Bath, built between 1567 and 1580. The house has been noted for its art collection and its elaborately decorated interiors with architectural Italian influence.Literature
A similar model constructed of rosewood with brass details and ‘spindle ends’ is shown on page 30, plate 329, of Gillows: of Lancaster and London 1730 -1840, Susan E. Stuart, ACC Art Books, 2008. Several tables with these distinctive spindles appear in The Estimate Sketch Book during the 1820s, also documented in the Gillows archive drawings.
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.
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