24 Nov 2017

 
  

January 4, 2014 - Filed under: Gillows — Mandy

Gillows of Lancaster is renowned in the world of fine furniture, with antique cabinets by this Lancashire firm held in the same esteem as those of Sheraton and Chippendale. Gillows was producing antique dining chairs and other fine furniture for over 200 years – the majority of it for the aristocracy and upper classes. Tatton Park, in Cheshire, is a masterpiece of Gillows antiques, with over 200 privately commissioned pieces in their original setting.

The company was established by Robert Gillow (1704-1772). Born in Fylde, Lancashire, he travelled to Lancaster to train as a cabinetmaker, initially working as a ship’s carpenter. Lancaster was a major trading port at this time, and Robert was able to forge important links with the West Indies, importing high quality mahogany from Jamaica, Cuba and the Honduras after setting up his business.

Antique cabinets from Lancashire to Lincoln

In the 1740s, Gillow opened a London warehouse, gaining him national recognition. The use of finely crafted mahogany – a key feature of Robert Gillow’s exquisite antique bookcases and cabinets – enabled this humble Lancashire lad to establish a name for himself with the English nobility and upper-classes. In return for mahogany imports, he also began exporting furniture to the West Indies, quickly establishing himself as a cabinetmaker of international importance.

Robert Gillow was later joined by his sons, Richard and Robert, who helped develop the company’s reputation. Important commissions were secured, furnishing public buildings in Australia, South Africa, Europe, Russia, India and even the US.

Extending antique tables – a Lancashire invention

Richard Gillow was himself a master craftsman. Following his father’s death, he began working on innovative new designs of his own, aided by his brother Robert, who ran the London branch of the company and therefore had his finger on the pulse of the latest trends and fashions. Extending antique tables were a Lancashire invention, developed by Richard Gillow.

Between 1750 and 1811 the firm reached its zenith, producing the finest furniture ever to come out of Lancashire. The antique chests, tables and cabinets of this period were produced by the pick of Lancashire’s craftsmen, as Richard was a popular and much-loved figure able to secure honest, gifted employees easily. He was also a trained architect, building and furnishing several notable public buildings in the Lancashire area.

Hand-crafted Victorian dining chairs

By the time Richard’s son (also called Richard), succeeded him in the firm, Gillows had entered the age of Victorian mass-production. However, the company continued to expand, offering value for money while maintaining traditional cabinetmaking methods. The company worked with Pugin on the interiors of the Palace of Westminster, around 1840, later diversifying into fitting out passenger liners and luxury yachts.

This effectively takes the story of this famous Lancashire company full circle. The last antique dining chairs and antique cabinets by Gillows of Lancaster were crafted no later than 1903, when the firm merged with S.J Waring to form Waring and Gillow.

The patterns for Gillows commissions, such as inlaid antique bookcases and gilded Victorian dining chairs, were kept in Lancashire under lock-and-key. Today, these unique books provide Lancashire antique dealers with a detailed record of everyantique desk and cabinet Gillows ever made, making authentication and valuation an easy process.

July 1, 2013 - Filed under: Gillows — Mandy

Lancashire is synonymous with antiques, being the home of one of the most famous names in the antique furniture business, Robert Gillow. Robert Gillow crafted antique cabinets in Lancashire around the 18th century. Much of his work has survived to this day, and antiques from Robert Gillow are highly prized in the antiques world.

Robert Gillow was born in Lancashire early in the 18th century, in 1704 in Singleton. With his furniture company Gillows he made many fine examples of Lancastrian antique cabinets and other forms of furniture. Gillow left Singleton to move to Lancaster because his father was in prison there, in Lancaster Castle.

Much of Gillow’s antique cabinets were manufactured from mahogany imported from the West Indies, where Gillow discovered the fine wood when he worked on a ship as a carpenter.

Many of Gillows Lancashire-made antiques were exported back to the West Indies, from where his source material came from, showing the reach of Lancashire’s antiques.

Gillows became a family business in Lancashire when Robert Gillow was joined by his sons and together they crafted fine antique furniture, and even invented the billiard table (or so legend has it).

The highlight of Gillow’s career came when he crafted fine Lancastrian furniture for Queen Victoria, as well as for more than one president of the United States of America.

May 20, 2012 - Filed under: Gillows — Mandy

Gillows of Lancaster is renowned in the world of fine furniture, with antique cabinets by this Lancashire firm held in the same esteem as those of Sheraton and Chippendale. Gillows was producing antique dining chairs and other fine furniture for over 200 years – the majority of it for the aristocracy and upper classes. Tatton Park, in Cheshire, is a masterpiece of Gillows antiques, with over 200 privately commissioned pieces in their original setting.

The company was established by Robert Gillow (1704-1772). Born in Fylde, Lancashire, he travelled to Lancaster to train as a cabinetmaker, initially working as a ship’s carpenter. Lancaster was a major trading port at this time, and Robert was able to forge important links with the West Indies, importing high quality mahogany from Jamaica, Cuba and the Honduras after setting up his business.

In the 1740s, Gillow opened a London warehouse, gaining him national recognition. The use of finely crafted mahogany – a key feature of Robert Gillow’s exquisite antique bookcases and cabinets – enabled this humble Lancashire lad to establish a name for himself with the English nobility and upper-classes. In return for mahogany imports, he also began exporting furniture to the West Indies, quickly establishing himself as a cabinetmaker of international importance.

Robert Gillow was later joined by his sons, Richard and Robert, who helped develop the company’s reputation. Important commissions were secured, furnishing public buildings in Australia, South Africa, Europe, Russia, India and even the US.

Richard Gillow was himself a master craftsman. Following his father’s death, he began working on innovative new designs of his own, aided by his brother Robert, who ran the London branch of the company and therefore had his finger on the pulse of the latest trends and fashions. Extending antique tables were a Lancashire invention, developed by Richard Gillow.

Between 1750 and 1811 the firm reached its zenith, producing the finest furniture ever to come out of Lancashire. The antique chests, tables and cabinets of this period were produced by the pick of Lancashire’s craftsmen, as Richard was a popular and much-loved figure able to secure honest, gifted employees easily. He was also a trained architect, building and furnishing several notable public buildings in the Lancashire area.

By the time Richard’s son (also called Richard), succeeded him in the firm, Gillows had entered the age of Victorian mass-production. However, the company continued to expand, offering value for money while maintaining traditional cabinetmaking methods. The company worked with Pugin on the interiors of the Palace of Westminster, around 1840, later diversifying into fitting out passenger liners and luxury yachts.

This effectively takes the story of this famous Lancashire company full circle. The last antique dining chairs and antique cabinets by Gillows of Lancaster were crafted no later than 1903, when the firm merged with S.J Waring to form Waring and Gillow.

The patterns for Gillows commissions, such as inlaid antique bookcases and gilded Victorian dining chairs, were kept in Lancashire under lock-and-key. Today, these unique books provide Lancashire antique dealers with a detailed record of every antique desk and cabinet Gillows ever made, making authentication and valuation an easy process.

http://www.christiandaviesantiques.co.uk/CurrentStock/tabid/124/AntiqueType/View/Antique-ID/1648/A-Stunning-Quality-Gillows-Burr-Walnut-Antique-Fold-Over-Games-Table-C1870.aspx

A fine Example of Gillows Work

 

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