Parlington Hall :: Gillows Furniture, circa 1811

One of the interesting things about researching a topic is how threads develop which lead you off in another direction. Some time ago I acquired a copy of the auction catalogue from the sale in July 1905 of the household effects at Parlington following the death in June that year of Colonel Frederick Charles Trench-Gascoigne [Aged 91]. I have intended to make the auction details available on the site but there is a lot of typing to do to get it into the form required, so it will eventually be published, but when I do not know!

Update December 2011

The probate document of 1905 along with the later auction catalogue are set out here in the Hall section.

Two unrelated items provided an insight into the hall at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Firstly I was looking for some references to similar styles and types furniture that had been in the Hall and came across this reference at Christie's the auctioneers in New York.

Christie's Sale

By Gillows, circa 1800, stamped GILLOWS.LANCASTER and signed in pencil F.Bainbridge The rectangular top with concave front, over a conforming hollow-fronted base, with a long central frieze drawer, flanked by two short drawers to each side, on reeded tapering legs and brass caps and casters, stamped GILLOWS.LANCASTER three times, and inscribed in pencil J.Bainbridge twice, previously with a three-quarter gallery where now inlaid 32in. (81cm.) high, 431/2in. (111cm.) wide, 23in. (58cm.) deep NOTES This hollow-fronted dressing-table has Egyptian reeded legs in the antique manner popularised by Thomas Hope's Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1807 and George Smith's Collection of Designs for Household Furniture, London, 1808. The general pattern for this table features in the 1806 Estimate Sketch Book, while a related a example appears in their 1811 Account Book as 'A Handsome Mahogany five drawer dressing Table with rim and on turned reeded legs 6.16.6'. 'Gillows.Lancaster' is stamped on a related table supplied in 1811 to Parlington Hall, Aberford (illustrated in C. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 380, cat. no. 500) and six of this form were supplied in 1813 to the 2nd Baron Bolton for Hackwood Park, Hampshire, four of which were sold from there, Christie's house sale, 20-22 April 1998, lots 356, 358, 359 and 360. A further table was sold, the Property of a Gentleman, Christie's London, 16 September 1999, lot 138 ($6,900). The stamp GILLOWS.LANCASTER dates this piece to about 1800, when this particular stamp was in use. A dressing table supplied by Gillows for Tatton Park, Cheshire in around 1811-1812 is signed by the same craftsman F.Bainbridge under the drawer (see N. Goodison and J. Hardy, 'Gillows at Tatton Park', Furniture History, 1970, pl.24B).

1905 Sale

Then secondly by cross checking with the sale catalogue from 1905 I discovered that lot 490 in Bedroom No.1 (Drawing Room Wing) detailed: a 3ft 9in antique mahogany DRESSING TABLE by Gillows, Lancaster, with one long and four short drawers, shaped front and fluted legs This must be the one mentioned by Christie's. Additionally the sale price for the item in New York, October 18th 2001 was $8,225.00, whereas its sibling in the auction of 1905 sold for £8 0s 0d [As best as I can make out the feint scribbled text adjacent to the lot number from the catalogue, although only the shillings and pence are in question the eight pounds is clear.] The picture is of the item sold in New York.

Gillows Dressing Table circa 1811

Armchair Detective (Pun intended)

Proof that you can be an armchair detective, equipped with computer and an Internet connection, with the help in this instance of Google! The header picture shows the Drawing Room and the bedroom in which the dressing table was located was on the first floor.

New Additions 2009

Since writing this article I have looked in greater detail at the furniture that was at Parlington up to the time of the death of Col Frederick Charles Trench-Gascoigne in 1905. Some pieces have remained in the collection at Lotherton Hall others are at Temple Newsam, as to the rest that was sold in the auction mentioned above, and I suspect some pieces may have been given to friends and the like down the years since the abandonment of Parlington.

Background to the Gillows' Furniture

Richard Oliver, benefitted from a lifetime interest in the Parlington Estate upon the death of the last baronet, Sir Thomas Gascoigne in February 1810, and took the Gascoigne name; a proviso of the will.
Précis from the book "Furniture at Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall", by Christopher Gilbert ISBN 0 5903334 17
He [Richard Oliver Gascoigne] commissioned Gillows of Lancaster to refurnish the principal rooms. The original order was intended to equip five bed and dressing rooms, the dining room, library and a study. The repertoire for each bedroom was almost exactly the same. Richard Gascoigne continued his patronage of Gillows until his death in 1834 [wrongly cited in the book it should have been 1843] Between October 1810 and December 1813 furnishings valued at £2.931.16.11d were supplied and over the remaining years up to his death work totalling £420.18.9d was received.

The money spent in the nineteenth century to purchase the Gillows furniture, can be computed to today's relative value on a web site called Measuring Worth, although the start period earliest date is 1830, some twenty years after R.O.G. bought from Gillows, but given that inflation may have been small the values are probably quite reasonable.
Thus we get:

  • Original purchase: £2,931.16.11
  • Today's Rate by Retail Price Index: £222,643.97
  • Today's Rate by Average Earnings: £2,439,472.83
  • Today's Rate by Share of GDP: £8,756,489.08

We can see from these figures that the new "Squire" at Parlington, soon took to the lifestyle of his predecessor!

Gillows Furniture Page Two

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