Incy Wincy Mayhew – a New Book

Hugh Roberts and Charles Cator, Industry and Ingenuity: The Partnership of William Ince and John Mayhew (London: Philip Wilson Publishers, November 2022), 448 pages, ISBN: 9781781301098. Via Bloomsbury.

The first comprehensive study of William Ince and John Mayhew’s famous eighteenth-century cabinetmaking partnership, complemented by high-quality photographs of their work.

The partnership of William Ince (1737–1804) and John Mayhew (1736–1811) ran from 1758 to 1804 and was one of the most enduring and well-connected collaborations in Georgian London’s tight-knit cabinetmaking community. The partners’ clientele was probably larger, and their work was arguably more influential over a longer period, than most other leading metropolitan makers – perhaps even than that of their older contemporary, the celebrated Thomas Chippendale.

Despite their considerable output and an impressive tally of clients and commissions, much of Ince and Mayhew’s work has remained unidentified until recent times. The authors’ substantial research in private family archives, county record offices and bank archives has allowed them to uncover much new evidence about the business and its influence within cabinetmaking circles. In Industry and Ingenuity, the results of these new investigations are presented alongside an impressive selection of more than 500 colourful, vibrant photographs of Ince and Mayhew’s works, many previously unpublished, which together emphasise the partnership’s proper position in the pantheon of great eighteenth-century cabinetmakers.

Table of Contents

PREFACE

PART ONE: THE BUSINESS

Apprenticeship and Partnership
Premises and Family
Role of the Partners
The Universal System of Household Furniture
Branches of the Business
Workshop Management
Accounting and Finance
Clientele
Relationship with Architects
‘House Style’ and Stylistic Development
Dissolution of the Partnership
The Suit in Chancery

PART TWO: COMMISSIONS
Documented Commissions
Possible Commissions

PART THREE: ILLUSTRATIONS

Select Bibliography (with Abbreviations)
Photographic Credits
Acknowledgements
Index

Jack Plane

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About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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