Attributed to Gillows of Lancaster. An exceptionally fine quality Regency period mahogany library breakfront secretaire bookcase, the timbers and overall construction of the highest order. The doors and stiles quartered the interior of the secretaire boxwood faced drawers.
He founded the luxury furniture and furnishings firm Gillows of Lancashire in 1730. During the 1730s he began to exploit the lucrative West Indies trade exporting mahogany furniture and importing rum and sugar, in addition to fitting out ships cabins and doing finishing work in construction. The firm rapidly established a reputation for supplying high quality furniture and furnishings to the richest families in the country. They also had a London workshop in Thames Street. In 1764 a permanent London branch of Gillows was established at 176 Oxford Road, now Oxford Street, by Robert's son, Thomas Robert Gillows (1745-1793), and William Taylor. Following Robert's retirement in 1769, the business was continued by his two sons, Richard (1734-1811) and Thomas Robert (his other children were Alice, Edward and John).  Richard Gillows was an architect of some note, and he is credited with originating the telescopic dining-table and the first English billiard-table.
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