WRIGHT AND MANSFIELD
Wright & Mansfield, the partnership of Alfred Wright, a cabinet maker and Thomas Mansfield, a decorator, were one of the finest makers of marquetry furniture in London, working from circa 1860 to 1886. They were established at 3 Great Portland Street, and subsequently moved to 104 New Bond Street, London, until they closed in 1886.
Despite their comparatively short commercial career they were the leading exponents of Adam and Sheraton Revival furniture of their time, and produced some spectacular furniture.
The magazine 'The Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher', vol. VII, July 1, 1886, reported about Wright and Mansfield that, "they must be accounted the leaders of that passing fashion which has happily brought back into our houses many of the charming shapes of the renowned eighteenth century cabinet makers .... the best forms of Chippendale, Hepplewhite and particularly Sheraton have been made to live again under the renovating influence of these able manufacturers".
The firm exhibited to great aclaim at the International Exhibitions of 1862, 1867 and 1876 in London, Paris and Philidelphia.
At the 1867 Paris Universelle Exposition, a remarkable satinwood, marquetry, bronze and Wedgwood mounted cabinet by the firm won a Gold medal, the only time such an honour was bestowed upon an English cabinet maker by the French judges. The Gold medal was presented personally to Wright & Mansfield by the Emperor Napoleon III. The cabinet was purchased by the South Kensington Museum, London (later the Victoria and Albert Museum) for the extraordinary sum, in those days, of £800. It remains in in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum today.
Eileen Harris Adams, Family: Wright and Mansfield at Haddo, Guisachan, Brook House and Grosvenor Square, Furniture History, vol. XXXII, 1996.
Ian Gow, Scotland's Lost Houses, 2006, pp.166-171
Jonathan Meyer, Great Exhibitions: London, Paris, New York, Philadelphia 1851-1900, 2006, p.123
Max Donnelly, British Furniture at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition 1876, Furniture History, vol. XXXVII, 2001, pp.91-120
Elizabeth Aslin, 19th Century English Furniture, Faber 1962, pps 42 & 88.