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Design for furniture

Design for furniture

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1806-1831 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gillow & Co. (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawing in pen and ink, and watercolour

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the directors of Messrs Waring and Gillow Ltd.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 17, shelf DR5

Object Type
This design is typical example of the interiors executed by Gillow & Co. The flattened elevations of all four walls allow the whole room to be viewed together on one sheet. Producing a design in this form allowed the client to visualise the finished room. It also allowed the designers to create and place furniture within the room setting.

Gillow & Co. had many wealthy and famous clients. This design was undertaken for Sir Benjamin Heywood, a member of a Manchester banking family.

Design & Designing
These designs were intended to be shown to the customer. They would have been shown along with separate, more detailed sketches and designs of the individual pieces of furniture.

Gillow & Co. was originally founded in Lancaster in 1730. The London branch was opened in 1775. This drawing was produced by the London office. In the period 1813-1820 the Gillow family gradually withdrew from personal involvement with the business, and possibly this design was created after that phase. In 1897 Gillow & Co. merged with a Liverpool firm and they henceforth traded as Waring & Gillow.

Physical description

Design for the furniture and interior decoration of a room, with elevations of the walls and details of woodwork, curtains etc.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1806-1831 (made)


Gillow & Co. (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Drawing in pen and ink, and watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped in ink on the back

'B. Heywood Esq'


Height: 41.5 cm paper, Width: 58.8 cm paper

Descriptive line

Design, from a set of 94, for furniture and interiors, made in the studio of Gillow & Co., London, 1806-1831.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1952. London: HMSO, 1963.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This watercolour is an example of the complete interior design service offered by the large-scale furniture manufacturer, Gillow & Co. It was produced for the Manchester banker and philanthropist, Sir Benjamin Heywood (1793-1865). Although originally based in Lancaster, Gillows increasingly ran their business through their London showroom in Oxford Street. [27/03/2003]


Ink; Watercolour



Subjects depicted

Furnishings; Interior


Furniture; Interiors; Designs; Drawings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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