Height 5inches Width 15inches Depth 13 ¾ inches
A George IV calamander and specimen parquetry writing slope, in the manner of Gillows, of wedge-shaped form, the hinged lid decorated with a three dimensional cuboid design, sometimes called ‘tumbling blocks’, of specimen timbers including harewood, yew-wood, burr-walnut, ebony and coromandel, opening to reveal a cedar lined interior with baize inset writing surface, a recess and pair of small drawers beneath, with key. English, c 1820.
Footnote: For a related specimen parquetry ‘work box of various woods made for Miss Giffard of Nerquis Hall’ in 1808, see Susan E. Stuart, ‘Gillows of Lancaster & London 1730-1840’, Antique Collectors Club 2008, Vol II., pages 139-163. In this chapter, under the title ‘Glossary of Woods used by Gillows of Lancaster’, Susan Stuart uses the pencil sketch from the firm’s Estimate Sketch-book, four colour photographs of the box and the numbered ‘Catalogue of the Specimens of Curious wood (English and Foreign)’ to identify and describe most of the 72 woods used. ‘Tumbling blocks’ was also a favourite design on the larger surfaces of Tunbridge-ware boxes.
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