Fine Satinwood and Marquetry Side Cabinet by Gillows of London c1902
A superb quality satinwood and marquetry display or side cabinet by Gillows of Lancaster and London c1902. The upper section having a central, glazed cabinet with shelf. This being flanked either side by an enclosed shelf with fretted back and side, above two small drawers. The middle section below this has a central, glazed cabinet flanked by two cabinets with hinged doors, all with an internal shelf. Raised on six solid satinwood square tapered legs with shaped feet encircling an open shelf, this making up the lower section of the piece. Finely detailed mouldings are all of solid satinwood. All four cabinets with working locks. Both glazed cabinets relined in ivory-coloured velvet. Fine marquetry detailing to friezes, frame members, doors and drawer fronts – hinting to influence from neoclassical revivalism whilst the fretwork detail suggests the Aesthetic movement. The cabinet’s overall striking and unusual design together with its shaped feet however would more likely place in the Art Nouveau era – a period when designers looked both to the past and to the future in seeking to create a distinctly new style. The piece has two “Gillows” plaques with “To His Majesty King Edward VII” – dating the piece between 1901 and 1903 (when the firm merged with Warings of Liverpool, becoming Waring and Gillows). Overall maximum dimensions are 152 cm height, 117 cm width and 38 cm depth.
This cabinet is in excellent condition commensurate with age. Very minor historic knocks, marks, wear and repair as is to be expected with genuine antique furniture. This cabinet has been restored in our workshop to a high standard using traditional methods and materials. Please see images as these form an important part of the description.
In 1728 Robert Gillow began trading in Lancaster as a joiner, builder, house carpenter and furniture maker. By 1734 he was employing at least six tradesmen in his Lancaster factory. In the early 1740s, Gillow acquired a twelfth share of the ship Briget, which he used to import mahogany directly from the West Indies – in part contributing to the success of the firm. By 1942 Gillow was also exporting finished mahogany furniture back to the West Indies on return trips. In 1764 a London branch of Gillow's was established at 176 Oxford Road (now Oxford Street). Following his death in 1772, the business was continued by his two sons, Richard and Robert and the firm rapidly established a reputation for supplying high-quality furniture to the richest families in the country. By 1814 the firm passed out of family ownership but the Gillows name continued in use. The firm expanded to an interior design company that would design and manufacture furniture as well as supplying other manufacturers products. They were the largest company of its type outside London, where they also had showrooms and workshops – maintaining their solid reputation for quality. The company won commissions to furnish and decorate public buildings in Australia, South Africa, India, Russia, Germany, France and the United States. It provided furniture for aristocratic houses, such as Tatton Hall, where some 150 extant pieces complement the work of the architect Lewis William Wyatt. In 1903 they merged with Waring of Liverpool and the two companies traded as Waring & Gillows.
Early 20th Century, Art Nouveau (c. 1890-1910)