This family business was started by Simon’s father in 1987 in the City of Bath where they traded for 10 years as Beau Nash House Antiques. Simon joined his father in 1997 when they renamed the business Freshfords Fine Antiques. Simon’s father retired in 2005 and the business has now moved to the shop in Bradford-on-Avon.
Freshfords have been exhibiting at antique fairs since the early 90’s and currently exhibit at prestigious London events held by BADA at the Duke of York’s on the Kings Road, Chelsea and various other national fairs. Their stock is of the highest quality and is always chosen for its originality, design and of course style. Each carefully selected piece is extensively researched, and illustrated online using superb photographic images together with detailed information and provenance, allowing their customers to buy with complete confidence.
Their reputation has been built on sourcing outstanding pieces of furniture by all the leading makers and designers such as Chippendale, Sheraton, Hope and Holland, and they are one of the leading dealers in furniture from the eminent firm of Gillow. As elected members of BADA and CADA they pride themselves not only in their stock but also their attention to detail in providing customers with the best possible service.
Freshfords Fine Antiques operates from a custom built showroom situated six miles South of Bath near the village of Freshford. As can be seen from these images, they have room settings for viewing the antiques which is by appointment only.
Ingrid Nilson, who organizes luxury antique and fine art three-day events around the country, was delighted to receive an approach on behalf of HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, who paid an official visit to the Luxury Antiques Weekend at Tortworth Court at the end of February 2014. The Duchess spent nearly two hours talking to exhibitors and admiring their stock.
Freshfords Fine Antiques was one of the leading exhibitors at the Tortworth Court Fair and as you can see from the photograph, Simon Powell, the owner of Freshfords, had the privilege of discussing some of the pieces on display with the Duchess.
Freshfords Fine Antiques would like to thank HRH The Duchess of Gloucester for visiting the fair and spending some time with Simon to talk about the art and antiques trade.
Freshfords have, over the last 30 years been dealing in English antique furniture from the 18th & 19th centuries and during this time developed an international reputation for sourcing Gillow furniture. In 2008 Freshfords were major sponsors alongside Apter Fredericks for the Gillow drawings for Susan E. Stuart’s book on GILLOWS OF LANCASTER AND LONDON 1730-1840, which are held by Westminster Archive Centre. Freshfords have over a dozen colour illustrated pieces of Gillow furniture published in Susan E Stuart’s book, ‘GILLOWS of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, including the front cover for Volume II. The images on this page represent past and present stock items attributable to Gillow & Co.
The history of the Gillow family can be traced back to medieval days. Among early forerunners was Paulyn Gillow, Mayor of York, whose grandson married Ann Allan, sister of Cardinal Allan. They were a strict Catholic family and continue to hold their beliefs to this day. Richard Gillow, who died in 1717, had married Alice Swarbrick and lived at Singleton in the Fylde. He spent some time in Lancaster gaol as a consequence of harbouring priests in his house. His son, Robert, was born in 1704 and with him begins the history of the furniture making firm of Gillow.
As a young man Robert came to Lancaster to serve his time with a joiner. This was probably in 1718 as he obtained his freemanship in 1727/28. Five apprentices in joinery, all of them Roman Catholics, became freemen in the same year. Unfortunately it is not known to whom any of them were indentured. Robert and another, George Haresnape, set up a joint business together which lasted for about five years. With Robert begins the series of records of the firm and there is no evidence for the date 1695 so often quoted for the firm’s beginning, nor to substantiate the belief that some early records were lost in a fire. The first entry in Robert Gillow’s notebook is for a gun barrel in 1729, the year following his freemanship.
Robert married Agnes Fell in 1730 and his two sons, Richard and Robert, were admitted Freemen of Lancaster in 1754-5 and 1766-7 respectively. London premises were taken in 1769 at 176 Oxford Road, now called Oxford Street, where the firm of Waring and Gillow is still to be found though no longer connected with the family.
CERTIFICATES OF BADA PROVENANCE Freshfords are delighted to be able to offer Certificates of BADA Provenance for all items on our website.
A provenance has little meaning unless it is from a credible source. Only dealers, such as Freshfords, who have met the exacting criteria for admission to BADA have the credibility to be widely accepted as a provenance. By confirming that the client has acquired an item from a member of BADA, the certificates will reinforce the concept of a BADA provenance for objects.
These days, the provenance of an antique is becoming ever more important and BADA has established an object database into which members can enter details of sold items thus providing a traceable provenance. A certificate printed on specially designed paper will be issued by BADA stating that the item has been acquired from a member of the Association.
Freshfords will send the Certificate of BADA Provenance to the client within two weeks of the purchase date.