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Chest-on-chest

workshop of Gillows of Lancaster

Category

Furniture

Date

Aug 1758

Materials

Solid mahogany, with oak drawer linings, original green cloth, original brass

Measurements

201 x 117 x 57 cm

Place of origin

Lancaster

Order this image

Collection

Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

NT 998029.1

Summary

A chest on chest, or double-chest, one of a rare pair of mahogany chest on chests, made in Lancaster by Gillows of Lancaster for Walter Strickland (1729 - 1761) of Sizergh Castle, supplied on 17th August 1758. Both with a moulded and dentil-decorated cornice above a Chinese blind fretwork frieze. The upper chest of two short and three graduated long drawers, all cockbeaded and between fluted quadrant columns. The lower chest of three graduated and cockbeaded long drawers, the uppermost fitted for both dressing and correspondence, with mahogany compartments and divisions and space for a looking glass (now lacking to both chests), and a slide lined with green cloth in the right-hand drawer lining. The drawers between flat and canted fluted corners, and raised on simple bracket feet beneath a base moulding. The drawers fitted with brass bale handles and pierced brass backplates and escutcheons.

Full description

A chest on chest, or double-chest, one of a rare pair of mahogany chest on chests, made in Lancaster by Gillows of Lancaster for Walter Strickland (1729 - 1761) of Sizergh Castle, supplied on 17th August 1758. Both with a moulded and dentil-decorated cornice above a Chinese blind fretwork frieze. The upper chest of two short and three graduated long drawers, all cockbeaded and between fluted quadrant columns. The lower chest of three graduated and cockbeaded long drawers, the uppermost fitted for both dressing and correspondence, with mahogany compartments and divisions and space for a looking glass (now lacking to both chests), and a slide lined with green cloth in the right-hand drawer lining. The drawers between flat and canted fluted corners, and raised on simple bracket feet beneath a base moulding. The drawers fitted with brass bale handles and pierced brass backplates and escutcheons. These chest on chests are amongst the earliest Gillow pieces to be identified, and are thus an extremely rare survival. They were described in the Gillows' accounts as '...2 large Mahogany double Chests wth. Desk say Toilet drawers in, Glasses, slide & c. at £7. 10s. 0d...£15, Matts & packing per acct. £5 15.' Walter Strickland married Margaret Messenger in 1758, so it is probable that they were intended for use by himself and his bride-to-be for both correspondence as well as dressing.

Provenance

Purchased by Walter Strickland (1729 - 1761) of Sizergh Castle in 1758, probably on the occasion of his marriage to Margaret Messenger in the same year. Part of the same commission as NT 998267, the clothes press which also remains in the Castle, made for Charles Strickland (1734 - 1770) of Sizergh Castle. Thence by descent, until given by Henry Hornyold Strickland (1890 – 1975) with Sizergh Castle and its estates in 1950.

Credit line

Megan Wheeler

Makers and roles

workshop of Gillows of Lancaster , manufacturer

References

Stuart, Susan 'Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730 - 1840' (2008) 2 vols., Vol. II, pp. 6 - 8 and illustrated Plates 528 & 529.

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