Wylie & Lochhead was a Scottish cabinetmaking firm who became famous for their high level of craftsmanship in their furniture, which followed the Glasgow School style of design. Admirers of Wylie & Lochhead Arts& Crafts furniture in Preston will find their antique cabinets, antique dining chairs and other furniture in high quality antique shops and showrooms. The designs are usually attributed to E.A Taylor – sometimes wrongly, as John Ednie designed for them too, though his work was often attributed to Taylor.
Wylie & Lochhead was formed by young cabinetmakers Robert Wylie and William Lochhead in 1829. They became highly successful, with a string of workshops, showrooms and warehouses in Glasgow employing over 1700 workers. By the 1900s they were a household name across Scotland, renowned for their artistic designs and high levels of craftsmanship.
Antique dining chairs by the finest craftsmen
With branches established in London and Manchester, the fame of Wylie & Lochhead spread. The popularity of designs by George Walton, and Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries at the Glasgow School, had a huge influence on the firm’s own designs. The success of Mackintosh’s famous Cranston tea rooms placed them under great pressure to satisfy demand for the Glasgow Style, but the size of the firm, and its marketing and manufacturing skills, made the style available to a huge market, both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Wylie & Lochhead employed the best talent in the area, developing close links with the Glasgow colleges and keeping abreast with the latest designs. Their three main designers were E.A Taylor, John Ednie and George Logan. In 1902, their Arts & Crafts Furniture designs were considered of such high quality they were displayed at the Turin International Exhibition alongside those of Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Four.
Wylie & Lochhead often incorporated other designers’ styles into their antique dining chairs and antique cabinets. Preston buyers will see motifs and other design elements borrowed from, among others, Rennie Mackintosh and Baillie Scott – who also designed Arts & Crafts furniture for the company. In 1957, the company was purchased by House of Fraser.