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Untitled

workshop of Gillows of Lancaster

Category

Furniture

Date

1761

Materials

Mahogany, oak seat rails, brass (to sofa), gros-point woolen needlework, silk damask

Place of origin

Lancaster

Order this image

Collection

Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

NT 998005

Summary

A highly important set of eleven pieces of seat furniture, commissioned by Charles Strickland of Sizergh Castle in June 1761 from Gillows of Lancaster, and comprising two open armchairs [NT 998005.1 - 2], eight standard side chairs [NT 998005.3 - 10] and a sofa [NT 998071]. The original commission included three 'armed' chairs. The chairs all upholstered in gros-point needlework of gold foliate sprays within cartouches against a pink ground. The sofa, with original castors, later upholstered in pink and gold silk damask. This set of furniture is an early example of Gillows' output, and is well-documented. Thus, we know that the eight mahogany side chairs, described in the order as having 'neat legges' cost Charles Strickland 12s 6d a piece; the three armed chairs 'with fluted elbows' 18s 6d each, and the sofa with 'elbows & leggs [sic] suitable' £1 15s. These seats were supplied with stuffing to the backs and seats covered in fine canvas, for which Gillows charged a further £7 7s 8.5d, and eighteen brass castors (for the sofa and the armchairs) at a cost of 14s 6d. The Stricklands would have had the canvas supplied by Gillows covered with upholstery of their own choosing after they had taken delivery of the set. Susan Stuart has shown that some of their features derive from plates in Chippendale's Director and that this set of seat furniture is a good example of 'how Gillows combined features from design books and added other features of their own'.

Provenance

Ordered by Charles Strickland from Robert and Richard Gillow of Lancaster in June 1761, and presumably delivered to Sizergh in that year, or soon after. One of the armchairs and two of the side chairs photographed in the Inlaid Chamber circa 1890 (before the paneling and bed removed to the South Kensington Museum in 1891). The photograph published 1908. Thence by descent, and given by Henry Hornyold Strickland (1890 – 1975) with Sizergh Castle and its estates in 1950.

Makers and roles

workshop of Gillows of Lancaster , cabinet maker

References

Stuart, Susan 'Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730 - 1840' (2008) 2 vols., Vol. I, pp. 138 – 141, the sofa and open armchairs illustrated Plates 80 & 81 Scott, 1908: Daniel Scott. The Stricklands of Sizergh Castle. Kendal: [n.p.], 1908., Facing p. 252

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