circa 1795 - 1805
George III period 18th century secretaire cabinet attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London.
The highly figured cabinet is flamed and bookmatched throughout. The cornice is decorated with a 'Greek Key' moulding above a thumbnail edge above shaped blocked supports. The honeycomb-shaped astragal glazing bars are neatly framed and the doors open fully to reveal the original mahogany lined trays. The five linen trays are shaped at the sides with solid mahogany linings. The lower section of the cabinet is the secretaire with three graduated drawers. The cabinet is low waisted with the secretaire drawer opening to a comfortable height for writing and is comprehensively fitted and centralised with the original mirror fretted door. The secretaire has several secret compartments that operate with secret locking mechanisms. The drawers are fitted with gilded 'axe head' handles and the drawer fronts are inlaid with barber stringing. The leather lined books slide out and are probably original in their current condition. The racing green leather lining is contemporary and is fitted to the entire section of the fall. The secretaire drawer sits above three graduated drawers and the flamed mahogany drawer fronts are decorated with gadrooned cockbeadings and fitted with the original gilt brass swan neck handles. The gilt brass handles are almost bespoke: they have been etched and designed specifically for this cabinet. The Gillow cabinet is raised on shaped ogee bracket feet.
NB. The cabinet is photographed with and without its original silk chinoiserie panels that can hang on the inside of the glazed doors.
The earliest designs for Gillow on secretaire cabinets can be found in the publication:
'Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840 by Susan E. Stuart (2008) (pp. 2, 54-60 plates 597-604)'.
The information is a reference to the design of our secretaire cabinet.
The design of our secretaire linen cabinet is very typical of a mid 18th century design, however the trays and drawer linings are not made in oak, they are made in mahogany, so we have dated the piece around 1790-1800. The cabinet is so well made and designed that it is a drawing room piece for sure.
Height 209.00cm (82.28 inches)
Width 122.00cm (48.03 inches)
Depth 59.00 (Max depth 112.00)cm (23.23 inches)
Stock No: 11324