Luxury Design, Past & Present
A Side Cabinet in the Louis XVI Manner by James Shoolbred & Co of London
Of concave sided form, constructed in goncalo alves, having gilt bronze accents and hand painted polychrome panels; rising from tapering, waisted and stop fluted legs, shod with gilt bronze foliate cast toes; facing, triple stop fluted stiles, draped with garlands and capped with lions masks, with carved guilloche panels betwixt, frame the two lockable cupboard doors dressed with polychrome panels depicting ribband tied musical attributes, enclosing a shelved interior, and smaller conforming panels over, separated by a floral garlanded thrysus; the concave sides have fielded panels delineated by stiff leaf gilt bronze frames, and over, a shaped Carrara marble platform. Stamped by the maker on the back 'Jas Shoolbred & Co 8344'.
London, Circa 1880.
James Shoolbred & Co began in business in Tottenham Court Road as a linen drapery business in the 1820s, but expanded rapidly to embrace all aspects of home furnishings. In about 1870 the company branched out into the furniture trade as cabinet manufactures, and by 1879 they had added to and enlarged their premises to include specialist centres for upholstery and bedding, sun blinds, carpets, carpentry, decorating and ironmongery. By 1900, as well as being one of the largest and most successful retailers of furniture and furnishings, they had launched into groceries, provisions and drink, china and glass.
They exhibited at the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition, and by mid-1880s Shoolbred & Co received a Royal Warrant for the supply of furniture to Queen Victoria and supplied high-quality pieces to wealthy and important clients throughout the Empire, and to other grand houses in Scotland such as the home of Sir George Bullough, Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rhum.