x SOLD : Pair of Regency Mahogany Card Tables attributed to Gillows


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Circa 1810. A fine rare pair of Regency mahogany card tables attributed to Gillows.

The rounded rectangular hinged tops with reeded edges, enclosing later baize lined interiors and tablet moulded friezes on reeded tapering legs and spool feet.

Dimensions: 34" wide x 16.5" deep x 29.5" high

Every antique furniture enthusiast has heard of the name Gillows, due to the very high standard of craftsmanship and unique design of the pieces of furniture they constructed. Robert Gillow was the founder of Gillows and began cabinet making and finishing furniture from 1731 onwards after he had finished his apprenticeship as a joiner and cabinet maker. He actually became a Freeman of Lancaster in the year 1728 and went into business partnership with George Haresnape. He had two sons who joined him in his business Richard and Robert. These two sons expanded the business to London to where many of the wealthiest buyers lived and this is where the firm quickly got recognized to be one the best cabinet makers of their time. In the 1740s, Gillows chartered ships to import mahogany from the west indies and Jamaica and this is why the timber used was of such good quality as it was old slowly grown solid woods, woods you cannot see in today's marketplace.

Gillows not only used timbers such as solid mahogany, but unusual veneers and painted designs such as japanning. They often made upholstered seating, so had their own upholsterers and cabinetmakers.

Amazingly not only did they produce their own fantastic designs but they also used other well known designs such as Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite. They were also creators of unique furniture like the trou-madame, a ladies version of a billiard table. It invented the extending telescopic dining table, the revolving top library table and secretaire drawers.

The Davenport desk was one of their most famous inventions, a small ladies desk first produced for captain Davenport. Gillows also made linen presses, chest of drawers, small occasional tables all the way to coffins. This lead to them becoming one of the richest families in England of the time.

The firm continued as Gillows until the early 1900s. They had overtime diversified to offer the complete interior design for your home from furniture, metalwork, stained glass, wallpaper, upholstery bespoke pieces including cabinet work for some larger homes, Libraries and offices.

Towards the late Victorian era finances were becoming difficult with the new influx of mass produced furniture and so they joined together with Waring of Liverpool. In 1903 Waring took over Gillows, and the brand Waring & Gillow was born. They diversifies again into not only quality furniture but also the luxury ships liner market. This went on for quite a few years but it didn't last long enough as the market place changed again and unfortunately the company went bankrupt. It was then taken over by Maple & Co, to become Maple, Waring and Gillow, three major cabinet makers throughout history joined together from large greatness down to a small firm but it was not to last.

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