Picture This XVII

…or what-nots to like.


Fig. 1. Drawing No. 95/579 from Gillows’ archive, circa 1790.

John Savage, working for the famous Lancastrian cabinetmaking firm of Gillows, produced this mahogany what-not (fig. 2), dated the 22nd of March 1790, for their wareroom .[1]


Fig. 2. George III mahogany what-not by Gillows, circa 1790. (Apter-Frederick)

A feature of the Gillows what-nots is the shaped friezes of the two lower tiers, which form the front of a shallow drawer.[2]

In this less delicate interpretation of Gillows’ design (fig. 3), all four shaped friezes are drawers, the revelation being somewhat spoiled by the presence of the keyholes and escutcheons.


Fig. 3. A Gillows style mahogany what-not, circa 1800. (Moxhams)

Jack Plane

[1] Susan E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2008, volume II, p. 109.

[2] ibid.

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Antiques, Picture This and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Picture This XVII

  1. dzj says:

    Were the shelves and the side friezes glued to each other or was some kind of buttoning employed?


  2. Sylvain says:

    Are the columns in one piece or is it made of four tables stacked one upon the other?
    I would not have thought there were (secret) drawers in the first picture.
    One could install a lock in the bottom of the drawers if needed.



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