• Item: Writing Table
• Circa: 1840
• Period: William IV
• Wood: Bird’s eye maple & purpleheart
• Provenance: England, UK
• Attirbutable to Gillows of Lancaster
• Gillows Workmaster: John Miller
• Thumb moulded top
• Lift up desktop lid (original ink well & pen tray)
• Original drawer knobs
• Purple heart lined drawer fronts
• Original working locks & key
• Hand dovetailed drawer construction
• Turned legs with reeded detail
• Original stamped brass castors (Cope & Collinson)
• Excellent original condition
• Stunning quality
• Free delivery to mainland England, Wales & southern Scotland*
• 14 day free UK returns policy
This is a stunning quality antique English Victorian 3ft bird’s eye maple and purpleheart writing library writing table, attributable to Gillows of Lancaster, circa 1840, in excellent original condition. The table features a twin thumb moulded top incorporating a fine purpleheart moulding. Purpleheart is a top quality South American hardwood and upon exposure the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. Situated below the top, there are two drawers, which boast bird’s eye maple fronts and purpleheart inlay. Both drawers feature their original turned knobs with further purpleheart inlay, the original working locks and key. The fine hand-dovetailed drawers are lined in mahogany, with the right-hand drawer displaying the stamp ‘J. Miller’ on the underside, naming the Gillows workmaster John Miller. The drawers have been constructed with such quality that the drawer bottoms and screws are designed to be adjustable in the event of any shrinkage of the wood, so that no gaps appear within the drawer. Below the drawers is a purpleheart frieze. Inset towards the rear of the tabletop is a recessed compartment for the stowage of ink and stationary (including its original ink pot and pen tray). Lifting up a hinged flap at the back of the tabletop can access this. This style of table was designed to be freestanding in a library or office. The table stands on lovely turned legs with baluster knees and reeded detail. The legs terminate on the original brass castors, which are stamped ‘Cope & Collinson’. This writing table is of particularly high quality owing to the use of bird’s eye maple and purpleheart (both rare and sought after woods) and the item’s construction, which is attributable to Gillows of Lancaster.
This item boasts a fantastic golden mellow maple colour. It displays its original polish, giving rise to its excellent colour and patination; this can only be achieved through age and the years of care and cleaning it has received.
This item would compliment any home and would sit well in the hallway, living room, library or office. So, don’t miss out on your chance to own a lovely piece of furniture!
Gillow’s of Lancaster was founded by Robert Gillow in around 1730. Gillow had served an apprenticeship as a joiner. He exported mahogany furniture to the West Indies, while importing rum and sugar. The firm established a branch at 176 Oxford Road (now Oxford Street) in London, in 1764. Gillow’s became well-known for the high quality furniture they produced. In 1772, the business was taken over by Robert’s sons, Richard and Robert, after his death. In 1897, Gillow’s entered into a loose financial arrangement with Waring of Liverpool, after running into financial difficulty. Gillow’s continued to enjoy a highly favourable reputation, outfitting luxury yachts and liners, including the royal yacht Victoria and Albert and the liners Lusitania, Heliopolis and Cairo, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The First World War saw the Lancaster factory turned over to producing ammunition chests for the Navy as well as propellers for the De Havilland DH9 aircraft. By 1932 the loose arrangement that Gillow’s had with Waring’s of Liverpool had evolved into the registering of Waring & Gillow as a company. The Waring & Gillow company would continue producing furniture during the inter-war years. During the Second World War, the company produced parts for gliders and De Havilland Mosquito, as well as kit bags, tents and camouflage nets. Post-war, the business began to decline, with the Lancaster factory closing in 1962. Eventually, Waring & Gillow joined the cabinet-making company Maple & Co, to form Maple, Waring & Gillow.
This writing table is in excellent condition. There are nominal old use marks to the leading edges and top but nothing significant considering the age of the item. The top is free from ink stains and marks. The polish is in excellent original condition. Both working drawers close flush to the frame and feature their original knobs, working locks and key. The table rests on its original brass castors. This item is solid in joint and ready to use.
Height = 73.5cm or 29” or 2ft 5”
Width = 91.3cm or 36” or 3ft
Depth = 53.3cm or 21” or 1ft 9”
Knee Height = 60cm or 23⅝” or 1ft 11⅝”
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Ref: Writing Table 28