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Waring And Gillow Oak Wardrobe SOLD

Waring And Gillow Oak Wardrobe

A very useful 2-door panelled wardrobe made in oak with some detailing to the top.

Made by Waring & Gillow of Lancaster, circa 1930s.

The firm of Gillow’s of Lancaster can be traced back to the luxury furniture and furnishings firm founded by Robert Gillow (1704–72) in about 1730. Robert Gillow served an apprenticeship as a joiner. During the 1730s he began to exploit the lucrative West Indies trade exporting furniture made in mahogany and importing sugar and rum. Following his death in 1772, the business was continued by his two sons, Richard (1734–1811) and Robert (1745–93). In 1764 a London branch of Gillow’s was established at 176 Oxford Road, which is now known as Oxford Street, by Thomas Gillow and William Taylor. The firm rapidly established a reputation for supplying high-quality furniture to the richest families in the country. Gillow & Co. introduced both the Davenport desk and patented the telescopic dining table.

Waring’s of Liverpool was founded by John Waring, who arrived in the city from in Liverpool from Belfast in 1835 and established a wholesale cabinet-making business. He was succeeded by his son Samuel James Waring who rapidly expanded the business during the 1880s, furnishing hotels and public buildings throughout Europe. He also founded Waring-White Building Company which built the Ritz Hotel and Selfridge’s department store. Samuel James’s son and namesake Samuel James Waring (1860–1940) continued the family business and was elevated to the peerage as Baron Waring in 1922.

During the final years of the 19th century Gillow & Co. ran into financial difficulty and from 1897 began a loose financial arrangement with Waring of Liverpool, an arrangement legally ratified by the establishment of Waring & Gillow in 1903. The merger was complex and involved the purchase of cabinetmakers Collinson & Lock as well as carpet dealers T.J Bonter and Company. The firms combined with a capital of £1 million.

The companies continued to use their own labels and stamps on their furniture even after they had merged. The Lancaster factory continued to use the historic name Gillows & Co and stamped work with the ‘Gillows’ stamp. Some pieces were affixed with a ‘S.J Waring & Sons’ label and others ‘Waring & Gillow’. A new Waring & Gillow building was opened in 1906 on Oxford Street and signalled a true merger of both companies.

Throughout their history Waring & Gillow secured contracts for a number of luxury yachts and liners.

In 1900 Waring & Gillow were tasked with the decoration of the British pavilion of the Paris Exhibition. The success of their presentation cemented professional relationships with makers and clients around the world in addition to new workshops in Paris. Towards the end of the 1920s Waring & Gillow opened a new, experimental modern art department and enlisted Russian designer Serge Chermayeff as their director. Chermayeff partnered with French designer Paul Follot who was working as the head of Waring & Gillow in Paris. Together they attempted to bring a progressive art deco edge to the company and in 1928 they opened the large exhibition Modern Art in Decoration and Furnishing in London. It consisted of 68 decorated and furnished rooms situated on the 4th and 5th floors of the Oxford Street building. The exhibition ran from November 1928 to January 1929. With the Great Depression in  the 1930s combined with Lord Waring spending outside his means during the previous decade caused financial problems for the company so Lord Waring was forced to resign as their  chairman in September 1930. The first liquidation meeting occurred in 1932 and the company was restructured as Waring & Gillow (1932) Ltd. During WWI the Lancaster factory was turned over to war production which made ammunition chests and propellers for aircraft. From a manufacturing base in Cambridge Row workers made tents, gas masks for horses and aircraft wings. The company also manufactured ammunition belts for use with machine guns, nosebags for horses and protective clothing for use during gas attacks. During WWII the factory in Cambridge Grove produced parts for gliders and the Mosquito aircraft, while tents and kit bags as well as camouflage nets were made by the upholstery department. After the war the business of the firm began to decline and the Lancaster workshops closed in 1962 to provide, two years later, the first home of the newly founded University of Lancaster. In 1980 Waring & Gillow approached rival furniture company Maple & Co. for discussions about a takeover. Initial offers were rejected by Maple directors but Waring & Gillow continued to buy shares of the company until eventually they had purchased 50.4% of ordinary shares which gave them control and in the process the company became Maple, Waring and Gillow. In 1988 Allied Carpets purchased 48 out of the 87 Gillows stores and the company subsequently became part of Allied Maples Group Ltd, which includes Allied Carpets.

Weight 80 kg
Dimensions 122 × 46 × 198 cm