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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1805 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gillow & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Beechwood, carved and gilded, with replacement upholstery

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the firm of Heaton Tabb & Co.

  • Museum number:

    W.38:1 to 4-1930

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 20 []

Object Type
This couch, of Classical form with animal legs, is typical of early 19th-century fashionable furniture. It was part of a large set of seat furniture, which included a second couch, six armchairs, a window seat and two sofas. The pair of couches may have been placed facing one other to either side of a fireplace, with the higher end against the wall.

Classical designs, like this couch, were very fashionable from around 1800-1810. In 1803 the designer Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806) published a design for a 'Grecian Squab', or Classical couch, in The Cabinet Dictionary, an influential source for furniture makers and their clients. In 1805 Gillow & Co. of Lancaster and London made this example for the Reverend Edward Hughes and another couch for the Marquess of Sligo.

The Reverend Edward Hughes (1738-1815) became a wealthy man through exploitation of a copper mine on the Parys Mountain, Anglesey, which he partly owned. He commissioned the architect Samuel Wyatt (1737-1807) to design Kinmel Park, Denbighshire, Wales for him (built 1790-1810), and subsequently ordered a large set of seat furniture, including this couch, from Gillow & Co. for his new house.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1805 (made)


Gillow & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Beechwood, carved and gilded, with replacement upholstery


Height: 82.5 cm, Width: 203.3 cm, Depth: 78.8 cm

Object history note

Made by Gillow & Co., London; for the drawing room at Kinmel Park, Denbighshire

Descriptive line

[*] Gillow sofa

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This couch was ordered from the London firm of Gillows & Co. by a wealthy Welsh customer, the Reverend Edward Hughes. Gillows, one of the most prominent furniture manufacturers, sold to clients throughout Britain and abroad. An example of one of their complete furnishing schemes is shown in the drawer below. [27/03/2003]




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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