A Gillows flame-mahogany chest of drawers, 1830s
This magnificent chest of drawers is a textbook example of the craftsmanship associated with the Gillow family of furniture makers, a firm established in c. 1730 and which flourished into the early twentieth century.
In addition to the characteristic ‘GILLOW’ stamp on the top face of the central short drawer, this chest is also signed by G[eorge] Curwen, a cabinet maker who is known to have worked in London c. 1856-1859, but was likely in the employment of Gillows prior to this date. The undersides of the two top drawers are marked respectively ‘L’ and ‘R’ and each bears the signature ‘G Curwen’ in pencil. This is a particularly exciting attribution because signed pieces seldom appear on the market.
The sheer beauty of this chest is achieved through the meticulous choice and usage of mature quality furniture timber, fully exploiting the figuring in the mahogany across the drawer fronts. The simplicity of form and sumptuousness of the flame mahogany are the qualities unifying this piece. No decorative carving or embellishments distract from this simplicity.
Thanksto Curwen’s craftsmanship and timber selection, this chest has stood the test of time. No warping, cracks or losses are evident in the case. The back, of a panel-and-frame construction in three parts, is as intact as the day it was made. Every drawer fits its frame like a glove. This is a superlative piece of early Victorian furniture.
DimensionsMax Width: 1180mm / 46½"
Max Depth: 560mm / 22"
Max Height: 1080mm / 42½"