With a warehouse that was one of the “sites of London”, Maple & Co was once the largest furniture retailer and manufacturer in the world, attracting visitors from near and far. The company was most prolific in the late Victorian and Edwardian era, specialising in fine quality Arts & Crafts Furniture, designed and produced in their own workshops. However, they continued producing fine quality furniture up until the 1980s.
Maple & Co was established by John Maple, a shopkeeper from Horley, Surrey, who later opened a furniture shop in Tottenham Court Road. However it was his son, John Blundell Maple , who made Maples & Co a success. With exceptional business skills, John B. Maple took over the company while still a young man. By the 1880s they were the largest furniture store in the world, exported their fine furniture to every continent.
Antique desks with a racing chance
Maples manufactured their luxury furniture entirely in-house, at a huge modern complex. A timber importer and furniture exporter, they landed prestigious contracts furnishing fine houses, hotels, embassies and palaces in Europe; among them Tsar Nicholas’s Winter Palace and the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna . With his own empire established, John Blundell Maple achieved further fame in politics and horseracing – some lines, such as the Atherstoke antique cabinet, having racing connections in the titles.
Never compromising on quality, Maples produced a huge catalogue of fine furniture, covering every avenue of interior design. A Maples & Co sale today would cover everything from Chippendale Revival antique dining chairs , to Aesthetic style carved oak dressers, to Art Nouveau tulip carved antique dining tables – all from the same catalogue.
Antique cabinets that never age
The exclusivity and high quality of craftsmanship of Maples’ antique cabinets, dining suites and bedroom furniture made them highly popular with Britain’s social elite. Today, they appeal to anyone who appreciates fine craftsmanship.
In 1905, Maples advertised a pedestal desk as a “writing table fitted for the typewriter”. Today, office users in Preston will find antique desks with the Maples emblem described as computer desks. The true quality of Maples Arts & Crafts Furniture, for Preston buyers, is in its timelessness.