A quite superb thuya wood veneered and ebonised late Victorian Canterbury Whatnot. The top has re-entrant corners, beautifully detailed thuya veneers, ebonised banding, and four wonderful quality cast brass anthemion paterae. Below this is an thuya veneered frieze with ebonised banding and chased brass beading, raised on four turned tapering thuya and ebonised columns with inlay and wonderful brass Corinthian capitals. The base section features four ebonised dividers with brass poles, and a frieze drawer with elegant brass ring handles, above four turned tapering feet with original brass castors with black china wheels.
Of the highest quality throughout, both the design and quality allow an attribution to the eminent maker Gillow & Co.
Width 28” (71cm) Depth 18” (46cm) Height 36” (91cm)
Gillows – based in Lancaster in North West England – is rightly renowned as one of the greatest of English furniture makers. Uniquely for a provincial firm, it had showrooms and workshops in London. Its 18th and early 19th century furniture was known for a simplicity and concentration of line, and for clever use of convex and concave surfaces and planes. Their business connections with the West Indies allowed them access to the finest of exotic timbers.
Robert Gillow began making furniture around 1730 (succeeded by sons Richard and Robert, and later grandson Thomas), and developed first a national and then an international reputation as a supplier of quality furniture to the upper middle classes, the landed gentry, and the aristocracy. The company won commissions to furnish and decorate public buildings in Australia, South Africa, India, Russia, Germany, France and the U.S., and it also executed Pugin’s designs for London’s Palace of Westminster from 1840.
Gillows was one of the first companies to mark its furniture with a stamp or label, and it is possible to date much of its output according to the wording of these markings. It is generally held that these markings were for ‘stock’ items only, though; it is estimated that up to 60% of their output was for private commissions and therefore not marked. It is sometimes possible, however, to attribute such furniture to Gillows by provenance, design, and quality.
Condition & Details of Restoration:
This item is in original structural condition and is completely sound. The polish has been revived and the brass work cleaned, by our own craftsmen, by hand in the traditional manner. There are some (extremely minor) marks and areas of fading.