M. Willson 68 Great Queen Street, London
On his return from travelling, Richard Colt Hoare hosted many dinners to tells his guests about the things he experienced. In the crowded dining room warmed by a blazing fire and dozens of candles, wine was kept at its best temperature in wine coolers.
A mahogany sarcophagus cellarette, stamped 'M. WILLSON 68 GREAT QUEEN STREET' London circa 1830. The hinged lid with a waisted paneled top and lappet carved edge above a tapered paneled body and raised on lions paw feet. Missing liner, stamped to the front edge of the interior.
It would seem likely that the stamp refers to Mary Willson but there is some confusion over the Willsons at this address, The impressed mark ‘T. WILLSON 68 GREAT QUEEN STREET LONDON’ has been found stamped on some other late 18th-/early-19th century furniture. According to 'British and Irish Furniture Makers Online' (BIFMO) compilers of directories vary in accuracy and there seems to have been a predictable confusion between the surnames Willson and the more familiar Wilson. Available material suggests that the Willsons were likely to have been dealers in good quality second-hand furniture (brokers). Although some of the 1838–54 entries refer to ‘Furniture Works’, the term may have been employed to described a repair workshop and not necessarily a manufactory. [Furn. Hist., 1974] Pieces of furniture bearing the distinctive stamp range in date over the years c.1780 to c.1840, and are mostly of mahogany. Known Willsons (Wilson) operating from this address are as follows: 1821: Thomas Willson, broker and appraiser, 68 Great Queen St 1822: Thomas Wilson, auctioneer and appraiser, 68 Great Queen St. 1823–25: Thomas Wilson, auctioneer, 28 Little Queen St. 1826: Thomas Wilson, furniture broker, 68 Great Queen St. 1828: Thomas Wilson, furniture appraiser and broker, 68 Great Queen St. 1829: Thomas Wilson, furniture appraiser and broker, 68 Great Queen St. 1830–37: Mary Wilson & Son, 68 Great Queen St. 1838–54: Matthew Wilson/Willson, furniture warehouse/ furniture works/u, 68 Great Queen St. James Weedon (February 2018)
Given to the National Trust along with Stourhead House, its grounds, and the rest of the contents by Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare, 6th Bt (1865 – 1947) in 1946.
Makers and roles
M. Willson 68 Great Queen Street, London, furniture supplier
Dictionary of British and Irish furniture makers online (1660-1840) FHS 2017