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for Gillows in Lancaster at this time (Stuart, 2008, p. 260, vol. II). The small note under Lowthian‟s name indicates that he has been paid for his work proving that the chair was manufactured. From the sketch of the chair it appears as though it was to be supplied with a plain finish since there are no marks or notes on the illustration to represent reeding, carving or paterae and, although French polishing is mentioned specifically, there is no line item for applied decoration. The illustration also suggests that the voluted arms of the chair were supported by square pedestals with concave sides. The overall dimensions of the chair were also specified: height 36¼ inches, width 23⅛ inches and depth 21⅞ inches. The depth of the front-rail at 2¾ inches indicates that the profile of the curved-knee was to be continued under the front edge of the seat, but once again, the feature was to be left plain.


By comparing the estimate from 1815 with the later estimate of 1834 it appears that there are only minor differences between the two chairs. The cutting list of 1834 is more generous but the cost of external labour has reduced by eight percent60. The identical prices of the hinges and catches suggest that the same designs were used and that Gillows therefore favoured a spring catch locking mechanism. French polishing, which was omitted in 1815 has been added in 1834 at a cost of thirteen shillings. French polishing came into vogue around 1810 and provided a much smoother finish. It is interesting to note that Gillows had not used the technique on the earlier chair and perhaps this is another indication of the firm‟s resistance to change. Given that the cutting list is virtually identical it is reasonable to assume that the design of the chair had remained the same and that the earlier estimate also referred to a Trafalgar Chair variation.


6.2 Gillows Marked Chairs


Extensive research has uncovered only one marked Gillows Library Step Chair. The chair is featured in Susan Stuart‟s book entitled „Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840‟ (Stuart, 2008, pp. 106-107, vol. II). Recent enquiries have revealed that the chair was purchased in the United States of America during 1990 and offered for sale by Anthony James Antiques in London and David Love Antiques in Harrogate between 1991 and 1997 (Millard, 2009). The chair was eventually sold at auction by Christie‟s in January 199861 but the present owner can no longer be traced. James


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