Attributed to Gillows, England Circa 1800
Height 31 ½” (80cm) width 49 ½” (125.5cm) depth 27 ¾” (70.5 cm)
This versatile desk, with its ratcheted rising top and frieze drawer opening to reveal six lidded and alphabetically labelled compartments, derives from a design by Robert Gillow circa 1781. The first table was made for Sir William Stanley of Hooton. Not only was it a new and original design but it was also the most expensive piece of furniture to be produced by Gillows at that time. During the following two decades several versions were commissioned by various landowners including the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1789.
The adjustable double ratcheted top has a later gilt tooled leather surface, the drawers and panels are cock-beaded. The brass drop handles are original but with replaced locks. The six ebonised oak and ebony strung, lidded compartments are labelled on holly panels. The lower front has six drawers flanking the kneehole with dummy drawers and panels to the reverse.
Lit: Gillows Furniture Designs 1760-1800 Lyndsay Boynton published Bloomsbury Press 1995 illustration no 24
Gillows of Lancaster and London Susan E. Stuart Pages 279-282