Luxury Design, Past & Present
A Kneehole Library Desk Attributed to Edwards & Roberts
Retailed by Druce & Co
Of kidney form constructed in a well patinated mahogany, extensively inlaid with specimen woods; rising from tapered spade end feet, of nine drawer form, all oak lined and lockable, fitted with quadrant mouldings; the central drawer over the kneehole bearing the brass plaque, 'Druce & Co, Baker Street & Portman Square', and flanked by two banks of four drawers; inlaid to the sides and back with urns and paterae in the Neo-classical manner, and ribbands and garlands in both stained and specimen woods; the writing surface having a tooled Morocco leather inset, with a guard band of interlaced anthemions. The kneehole houses an interior bookshelf.
Edwards & Roberts
The firm of Edwards & Roberts was founded in 1845, and had premises at 21 Wardour Street, London. By 1892 they occupied more than a dozen buildings in Wardour Street, where they continued to trade until the end of the century.
Known and feted as one of the leading London cabinet makers and retailers, they worked in a variety of styles, both modern and revivalist especially furniture in the Neo Classical Adam revival, as well as the French furniture of the ancien régime, and exhibiting a range of ability in their products, from 'very good to astonishingly good'. Their marquetry work, as in these examples, is of a quality that equals the creations of the French ébenistes of the eighteenth century.
The business involved making and retailing their own output, as well as adapting and restoring both English & Continental antique furniture, and many examples that bear their stamp or trade label have passed through our hands.