A Moment in Local Espionage History: MI6 & Ryder Street

The aim of this blog is to highlight antique furniture and historic interiors... but we couldn't resist sharing this fascinating bit of history from our very own Ryder Street, where we have had a gallery since 2009. In 1943, MI6 established Section V's headquarters at 14 Ryder Street.  Section V was the central foreign counter-espionage … Continue reading A Moment in Local Espionage History: MI6 & Ryder Street

Superbly Serpentine: A Sofa Designed in the Manner of Thomas Chippendale

We are no stranger to the designs and furniture of Thomas Chippendale (see here, here, and here for proof... or here, here, and here!).  This very fine 19th century mahogany double serpentine sofa is designed in the manner of Thomas Chippendale. The sofa features upholstered back, seat, and sides.  The mahogany show-frame is finely carved … Continue reading Superbly Serpentine: A Sofa Designed in the Manner of Thomas Chippendale

It Runs in the Family: The Incredible Gillows Family of Cabinetmakers

Today we are shining a spotlight on one of the most successful cabinetmaking firms of the 18th and 19th century: Gillows of Lancaster & London.  (For information on other cabinetmakers, look here: Thomas Chippendale, William Gomm, and Pierre Langlois).  The Gillows family firm was established in Lancaster as early as the 1730s.  Throughout the eighteenth … Continue reading It Runs in the Family: The Incredible Gillows Family of Cabinetmakers

Opening the Doors of a Walnut Bureau Bookcase

One of the great joys of working with antique furniture is the tangible nature of the pieces in our collection.  Oil paintings, for example, do not invite frequent touching or handling, but furniture is a different matter.  Furniture is meant to be touched, explored, and investigated.  The walnut bureau bookcase we are sharing today is … Continue reading Opening the Doors of a Walnut Bureau Bookcase

An Upholsterer’s Dilemma: Picking Fabric for Antique Chairs

Sometimes, though not often, antique chairs retain their original upholstery: the Warwick Castle armchairs and Newhailes library chairs are two notable exceptions. When the time comes to choose fresh upholstery for antique chairs, there are a number of options to pick from, including silk damask, velvet (either plain or cut velvet), patterned silk, or needlework, to … Continue reading An Upholsterer’s Dilemma: Picking Fabric for Antique Chairs