A classic antique mahogany partners desk from the first half of the 19th century supplied or made by the London firm of M. Willson, London.*
London furniture marked with the makers name has always been desirable and is getting rarer. Desks of this type have always been popular and proved to be good investments in the long term. A similar desk in the West End of London would probably be on sale at a considerably larger sum than this.
The desk is a good size (5 foot 6 inches wide -168cm) has excellent proportions and made with well figured attractive mahogany timbers.
Desks of this size are increasingly hard to find and the added provenance of the makers / suppliers stamp (M Willson, 68 Great Queen Street, London) on the top edge of the two middle drawers, makes this a rare desk of very good quality.
The top has a black hide writing surface with gilt and blind tooling surrounded by a cross band of mahogany with a thumb moulded edge It is fitted with three drawers to either side and all drawers have mahogany linings with hand cut dovetail joints. The drawers have ogee mouldings to the front edge, turned mahogany pull handles and the original brass locks and escutcheons.
The pedestals are each fitted with three drawers to the front and cupboards to the reverse and stand on plinth bases with hidden castors. Each cupboard also has an adjustable shelf.
The desk is made in three sections, the top and separate pedestals, for ease of transportation and installation.
T and M. Willson
Thomas Willson is entered in directories as a furniture broker and appraiser of 68 Great Queen Street, between 1821 and 1829. Mary Willson and son continued the business from 1830 - 1837 and after 1838 Matthew Willson ran a furniture warehouse, furniture works and upholstery business at the same address.
Only one piece of furniture with Willson's label has so far been traced. It stated that the firm was established in 1818 and indicates that, contrary to popular belief, he was a cabinet maker as well as a furniture broker: 'THOMAS WILLSON, Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer, & co. 68 GREAT QUEEN STREET, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. Every article of furniture for the Drawing, Dining, Bed Room and Library of first-class make. Established 1818.
This important fresh evidence suggests that the firm's name-stamped furniture can be divided into second hand pieces, which were merely retailed and items made in their own workshop for sale.
The half dozen or so articles impressed 'M WILLSON' (by his widow Mary or son Matthew) seem, with one exception, to date from the 1830's.
From the 'Pictorial Dictionary of MARKED LONDON FURNITURE 1700 - 1840' By Christopher Gilbert. Published by The Furniture History Society and W. S. Many & Son Ltd. 1996.
Date: circa 1835
Reference Number: SN441
Price includes free delivery to mainland UK addresses
If you are interested in this antique mahogany partners desk please contact us quoting reference: SN441
- Width (cm):
- 66" - 168cm
- Height (cm):
- 31" - 79cm
- Depth (cm):
- 42" - 107cm