Mahogany Pedestal Writing Table

5 ft. 3 ins. wide ■ 2 ft. ioi ins. deep x 2 ft. 5J ins. high.

This evidently refers to plain wood, as in the same year f in. mahogany of fine figure is charged at 5d. per foot. Deals are reckoned at i in., 2d. per foot; ii- in., 3d. per foot; 2-J- in., 5d. per foot; f in., 1+ in., and \ in., at ii-d. It must be pointed out that the term " deals " probably refers to what is now known as " first quality pine."

In another entry in the same book, 8 hours' work is charged at is. Sd., or at the rate of 2|d. per hour. On a later page, 15 days' labour is charged at £1, 6s. 3d., or is. gd. per day of ioi hours. The average of other entries in this year appears to establish this io^-hour day as the rule, although working days of 12 hours are not uncommon ; the extra hour and a half may have been regarded as overtime. Towards the end of 17S4 the rate appears to have been fixed at 2d. per hour, or 2s. per dav of 12 hours, from 7 a.m. to g p.m., two hours being allowed for breakfast, dinner, and tea—or rather what corresponded to that meal at the time, as few workmen would have cared to squander three days' labour 011 a pound of " Bohe."

From an entry in Kent's Directory of 17S4 it appears that two firms of the name of Gillow existed in Lancaster at this date —Richard Gillow & Son in Dam Street, and Richard and Robert Gillow on Castle Hill. In Bailey's British Directory of the same year the London firm is given as Robert Gillow & Co., " upholders," 176 Oxford Street (old numbering). These directories were very insignificant octavo volumes, woefully incomplete, and to those who attach any value to them as records it is interesting to compare Kent's and Bailey's Directories for 17S4, where in the first is given the names 374 of Chippendale and " Hagc," of 60 St. Martins mahogany china case. Lane, Cabinet-makers, and in the second

Chippendale and " Haigh," Upholders and Cabinet-makers, of the same address.

In every one of these entries it will be noticed that nothing is reckoned for what we know, at the present day, as polishing. Occasionally, as in "4 round knife cases for Mr. Benison," the item of " varnishing, 3s.," appears, but even this is not general, and much of the mahogany furniture of that date must have been merely oiled, and left for the subsequent attentions of domestics, in the way of waxing and friction. Much of the so-called "patina," so prized by collectors and expatiated upon at such length by many writers on the subject of English the polish, or " French " polishing, which dates from the middle of the nineteenth century, and was probably an introduction from Paris.

There is a strong tendency exhibited throughout these old cost-books to follow the prevailing London fashions at a respectful distance of from twenty to thirty years. Occasionally an illustration is marked " Gillows, London; For Sale," and the presumption is that the London house furnished the design, as these pieces appear to be more up-to-date—to use the modern phrase —than the general run of those

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