H: 42 in / 107 cm | W: 28.5 in / 72 cm | D: 17 in / 42 cmDescription
A Cabinet stamped by Gillows of LancasterConstructed in thuyawood and walnut, rising from lobed and castored feet: over, a single long drawer, stamped with the maker's mark 'Gillows Lancaster L1476' with brass pulls and above, a cross banded cupboard with panelled double doors decorated with musical trophies in bleu camaïeu opening to reveal a shelved interior; ring turned columns support the crossbanded platform, dressed with an arcaded brass gallery, and having an intaglio carved top edge.
Affixed to the cupboard interior is a letter from Waring and Gillows, the successor to Gillows, dated 1950, advising that the Gillows records advise the cabinet was made in 1873 for William Crossley, purchased for £19. 10.Biography
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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