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Why Are Gillows Regarded As One The Best British Furniture Makers?

Updated: May 10

Gillows is a name renowned for exceptional quality. Becoming one of Britain's best ever furniture makers, known for high quality, style and craftsmanship.

High quality timbers

The company was established in 1730 by Robert Gillow in Lancaster who was a cabinet maker. Chartering ships allowed Robert Gillow to directly import high quality and exotic timbers in to Britain to make furniture with. Mahogany was imported from the West Indies which was superior and dense.

When his two sons, Richard and Robert joined the company they expanded in to London, opening retail shops and gaining partners like Ferguson & Co. Having gained a reputation for their high standard of work they furnished many aristocratic houses and became one of the pinnacles of British furniture design.

Makers stamp

Not all Gillows furniture was stamped, however by the trained eye it can still be identified by the high quality of craftsmanship and certain design elements they added to their work. Makers stamps can be found on table rails or on drawer edges for example. Some furniture was not only stamped 'Gillows' but also had the name of the specific maker stamped in to their work.


an antique extending dining table stamped with a Gillows dated serial number

Gillows retained some the best kept records including orders, clientele, costs and sketches which means certain furniture can specifically be traced. Some furniture has a serial number which can date a piece and give an accurate time frame when the item was produced.

This extending dining table is stamped L27196 which dates it from 1880 - 1890.

Reputation - still regarded as one of the best in British design and manufacturing

The company expanded to an interior design company that would continue to manufacture furniture and also supply other furniture makers. With affluent clientele, useable furniture and cutting edge designs Gillows consistently remained top of their game.

Their furniture can be seen in museums all over the world and Tatton Park in Cheshire has one of the best collections and most of the 200 commissioned items are still on display.

Buying a piece of Gillows of Lancaster & London furniture means you are buying quality.

We have a collection of Gillows furniture available.


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