A Fine Regency Mahogany Pedestal Partners' Desk, in the Manner of Gillows of Lancaster
Height: 31" Width: 73" Depth: 36.5"
Inventory Number 8285-129
The rectangular cross-banded top inset with Greek-key tooled black leather, having rounded corners and a reeded edge, over a central frieze drawer flanked by four graduated drawers set to each side, flanked by reeded corners and raised on squat turned legs ending in brass caps and castors; the opposing sides with ebony line inlay; executed throughout in the finest figured mahogany.
Gillows of Lancaster and London were among the leading furniture makers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, catering to both the nobility and the growing middle class. Robert Gillow (1704-1772) was born in Singleton, Lancashire but moved to Lancaster following a time spent as a ship’s carpenter. He traveled to the West Indies and brought back one of the first recorded shipments of mahogany to England, starting a trade route that would last centuries. Once his three sons joined the business, expansion came quickly. In fact, demand for their fine furniture was so great that they owned their own fleet of ships to ensure a constant and steady supply of mahogany. By the late 1770’s a London branch was opened, and in 1881 the Lancaster branch moved to North Road. The Gillows firm was responsible for furnishing some of the grandest estates in Great Britain, including Wentworth Hall, Hackwood Park and Tatton Park.
For a similar design, please see Gillow Furniture Designs, 1760-1800, edited by Lindsay Boynton, plate 21.