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Arts & Crafts Oak Freestanding Knee-hole Desk

The Millinery Works


The best quality quarter-sawn oak freestanding knee-hole desk, moulded edge to the top, one long drawer between pedestals each with a cupboard with inset panelled door and three graduated drawers under a slide, wrought iron acorn drop handles and escutcheons, on tapering legs on swelled feet, two hand-carved Tudor Rose roundels to each end board, the entire frame with ebony and ivory inlays in dot, square and band patterns, fine London lapped dovetail construction to the drawers, circa 1900, 74cm (29in) high, 137cm (54in) wide, 72cm (29.5in) deep attriuted to Arthur Simpson (1857 – 1922) who was first apprenticed to a Kendal cabinet maker, then Gillow’s of Lancaster as “Architectural and General Wood Carver”. He returned to Kendal in 1885, opened his own workshop, employing several workers, and in 1889 was showing in the London Arts & Crafts Society Exhibition. His Lake District house was designed, in 1908, by C F A Voysey. Our attribution is based on the high quality of the timber chosen, the cabinet making and the signature quality of the carving of the roundels, also the metalwork suggests Nelson Dawson (1859 - 1941) a fellow Quaker, a member of the Art Workers' Guild and, in 1901, a founder of the Artificers' Guild, who supplied iron work for Simpson. We thank Hugh Wright (Author : The Beautiful Furniture of The Simpsons of Kendal' Bookcase ISBN 9781904147626) for his help in cataloguing this item.

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