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An early 19th Century mahogany table with a rectangular top with rounded corners. Set on an unusual base, terminating with four paw feet.
T. & G. SEDDON: In 1753 George Seddon I, founder of the business, purchased a house and two acres of land in Aldersgate Street, London where the family firm remained until the 1830s. The firm changed its name several times, being known as ‘George Seddon & Sons’ in 1789, when George Seddon I trained his sons Thomas I (bound as a cabinet-maker 1775-82) and George II (bound as an upholsterer 1777-84) in the trade and took them into the partnership in c.1785; ‘George Seddon, Sons & Shackleton’ between 1793 and 1800, when George I’s son-in-law, Thomas Shackleton, joined the firm; and finally ‘Thomas and George Seddon’ between 1820 and 1836, the time during which this table was made.
In the early years, the enterprise expanded rapidly, and by 1768 George Seddon I was employing 100 tradesmen under licence who were non-freemen. The firm flourished despite three fires at the workshops in 1768, 1783 and 1790. The first fire in 1768 destroyed upwards of 80 chests of tools and over £20,000 worth of stock. By 1783, Seddon employed nearly 300 ‘of the most capital hands in London’. Sophie Von La Roche, a German lady who visited the premises in 1786, wrote that he was ‘foster-father to 400 employees’. Her description of the establishment provides our best contemporary portrait of a comprehensive late 18th-century cabinet manufactory: ‘We drove first to Mr Seddon’s… He employs four hundred apprentices (and Journeymen) on any work connected with the making of household furniture – joiners, carvers, gilders, mirror-workers, upholsterers, girdlers – who mould the bronze into graceful patterns – and locksmiths. All these are housed in a building with six wings. In the basement, mirrors are cast and cut. Some other department contains nothing but chairs, sofas, stools of every description, some quite simple, others exquisitely carved and made of all varieties of wood, and one large room is full up with all the finished articles in this line, while others are occupied by writing-tables, cupboards, chests of drawers, charmingly fashioned desks, chests both large and small, work- and toilet-tables of all manner of wood and patterns, from the simplest and cheapest to the most elegant and expensive. The entire story of the wood, as used for both inexpensive and costly furniture and the method of treating it, can be traced in this establishment.’
For Charles IV of Spain, the firm made a spectacular painted satinwood combination bureau, dressing table and jewel case housing an organ which not only carried their name plate but was also signed by a workman: ‘R Newham 28 June 1793’.
Thomas I, the ambitious eldest son, started an independent offshoot of the business at 10 Charterhouse Street (1790-97) and 24 Dover Street (1793-1800), whilst continuing his involvement in the family firm. When George Seddon I died in 1801, the firm passed directly to his sons, Thomas I and George II. Thomas died in 1804 and George II died in 1815, at which point the business was inherited by George II’s nephew, Thomas Seddon II (1792-1864), who was joined in c.1817 by his younger brother, George Seddon III (1796-1856). The partners continued to trade at London House but in 1826 launched out with a West End showroom at 16 Lower Grosvenor Street. Following yet another fire at the workshop, the firm moved in 1831 to Gray’s Inn Road, finally giving up the Aldersgate premises in 1837. It was not until 1853-54 that they moved to 67 New Bond Street.
Before Thomas II and George III started, on a fairly regular basis, to use the familiar ‘T & G SEDDON’ printed label, either with the Aldersgate Street or Gray’s Inn Road address, the firm only routinely marked patent furniture. In 1827, the firm entered into a temporary partnership with Nicholas Morel for the purpose of handling a major commission to refurnish Windsor Castle. This arrangement lasted for four years and resulted in T. & G. Seddon being awarded a Royal Warrant in 1832. Thereafter, they included ‘Manufacturers / To Her Majesty’ at the head of their label and added a crown to their name stamp.
|Height||77.00 cm||(30.31 inches)|
|Width||101.50 cm||(39.96 inches)|
|Depth||56.00 cm||(22.05 inches)|
Thomas Coulborn & Sons
64 Birmingham Road
Please telephone for weekend and evening opening