A fine quality Victorian kidney-shaped desk in richly figured burr walnut by Gillows, the leather-inset top, above three drawers in the frieze and four graduated drawers in each pedestal, each with original gilt brass handles, the sides lock by means of a winged pilaster with a sliding panel at the capital which marks the , the back with adjustable shelves for small books, decorated with kingwood banding, stamped Gillows inside the top drawer, the locks stamped BRAMAH 124 PICCADILLY’.
The kidney-shaped desk first appeared as a writing or dressing-table during the Louis XV period (1715-74) in France before being introduced into England in the late 18th century. It evolved to incorporate drawers and often small shelves in the Sheraton period, see ‘The Cabinet Directory’ of 1803. The finest Victorian examples were made by Gillows of Lancaster and London following the design for ‘An Oak Pedestal and Kidney Table supplied to Ferguson & Co.’ in the ‘Gillows Estimate Sketch Books’, (1840) no. 5293, Westminster City Archive.