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  • image SM volume 42/11

Reference number

SM volume 42/11




Perspectival elevation of a sideboard table with variations so that the front corners can be curved or straight, the tapered legs fluted or four-sided, the frieze decorated by festoons, wreaths or sprays and the top of the legs ornamented with urns, leaves or swags


to a scale


this side is S[ir] James Ibbotson, 15 Chairs / 6 pedestals & vases X 8 ft / 7 ft 2 in at X 9

Signed and dated

  • datable to August 1786

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia wash, pencil, shaded on laid paper with three fold marks (185 x 270)




(part) crown


Denton Castle was purchased in 1690 by Henry Ibbetson, rebuilt by his son Samuel and on his death pulled down by his son James who then commissioned John Carr of York to build him a new house (1770-81). Some of the furniture for the new house was supplied by the cabinet maker, Thomas Chippendale (1718-79), born at Otley, a few miles from Denton Park. An undated account of money spent on the new furnishings has survived and this shows that Chippendale's bill came to £551, Gillows's bill was £220.12 and ten more firms are listed with amounts from £2.16 shillings to £25. The total amount was £1082.7 shillings. (Furniture History, IV, 1968, p.105; Chippendale Society : catalogue of the collections, 2000, 4.c.1973/1). The inscription suggests that the version with curved front corners was selected by the client, Sir James Ibbetson, and also that he ordered 15 chairs and 6 pedestals with vases (or urns) that were presumably also intended for the dining room.The Gillows archive (Westminster City Archives) has an Estimate Sketchbook (344/93/405) with a rough sketch drawing labelled 'No 1982' relating to the more finished design catalogued here. Inscribed 'Sr James Ibbetson Bart.' and with notes that begin 'large sideboard Table Top X [cross] banded / wth purple wood', priced at '£5.11.9' and datable to August 1786 it shows all six table legs and is the version with curved corners. Another drawing in the Gillows archive 'for Sir James Ibbetson' and numbered '1983' is for a pedestal and vase and can be dated to May-June 1787 (344/94/34-5, reproduced L.Boynton, ibid. fig.189). Gillows was founded by a joiner Robert Gillow (1703-73) in about 1727 in Lancaster. A branch in Oxford Street, London was opened in 1769. Unlike Chippendale, Hepplewhite or Sheraton, Gillows did not publish their designs and 'in the case of finished designs sent out to clients the recipient was almost always enjoined to take care that the drawings were not shown to others and especially not to rival cabinet-makers' (L.Boynton, ibid, p.22). Though the 'designers at the London branch remain anonymous they produced a steady stream of drawings for the Lancaster firm' that also had its own designers (L.Boynton, ibid.p.18). See previous drawing, 42/10, and also the following drawings, 42/12, 13


L.Boynton, Gillow furniture designs 1769-1800, Royston, 1999, p.173 et passim and see note below



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