Signed eighteenth-century English furniture is relatively rare and when it does surface, it is usually worth pausing to examine it. Many eighteenth-century cabinetmakers have been identified through their trade labels and parish records etc.; providing useful dating material.
Philip Bell is recorded as working from St Paul’s Churchyard between 1758 and 1774.[i]
‘Philip Bell / at the WHITE SWAN against / The South Gate in St Pauls Church Yard / London / Makes & sells al sorts of ye finest Cabinet Goods, / all sorts of Looking Glasses , Coach Glasses & Chairs / of all sorts at Reasonable Rates./ NB. Old Glasses new Worked & made up Fashionable.’
[i] Sir Ambrose Heal, London Furniture Makers: From the Restoration to the Victorian Era, 1660-1840, David & Charles, 1989, pp. 6, 14, 252 & 253.