A Rare late Regency / George IV Gonçalo Alves Kidney Shaped Fitted Writing Table firmly attributed to Gillows.
English Circa 1825-30.
Of extremely fine quality the kidney shaped top, made from gonçalo alves, with an inset gilt tooled leather writing surface and gadrooned edge, sits over plain frieze with a bead and reel moulding, concealing a fitted Bramah lock drawer with a ratcheted leather lined writing surface and the original inkwell retaining its gonçalo alves lid.
Raised on exceptionally well turned and carved acanthus baluster supports on downswept legs having C scrolls and reptilian (or lizard like) claw and ball feet with hidden brass castors.
Gonçalo alves also referred to as ‘Albura wood’ or ‘Zebra wood’ was almost exclusively used by Gillows in this period as they were the main importers of this wood, it was noted that is was 40% more expensive than mahogany and was of fashion in the early to mid 19th century.
This table relates to a pair of gonçalo alves card tables which can be seen illustrated in S. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, plate 267. These tables stamped ‘GILLOWS OF LANCASTER’, having not quite a finely carved base, where thought to have been made for John Hargreaves Esq.
The distinctive eagle’s claw foot appears on other well known pieces attributed to Gillows, most notably the suite of rosewood furnishings from Nidd Hall, Ripley, Harrogate, formerly the home of Viscount Mountgarret and sold Christie’s London, 9 July 1987, (lots 60-67). Four side chairs from this suite were later offered by Phillips London, 19 July 1995, lot 18. A design for a similar ‘yew tree chair with circular seat’ appears in the Gillows Estimate Sketch books (Westminster City Archives) no.3603, dated 13 June 1827, see lot 168.
Offered in superb original condition having a newly fitted leather writing surface, Regency Gillows desk has a wonderful original colour and patina having been just wax polished.
This table is a superb example of Gillows of Lancaster’s work, the drawer still fits air tight with the finest of timber and carvings. Truly for any serious collector or private individual with a discerning taste as it is a rare find, especially retaining its fitted writing drawer.
Width 44 1/4 inches – 113cm
Height 29 inches – 73.5cm
Depth 20 1/2 inches – 52cm