Sunday 28 October 2018

Sunday Snap – The Furniture Maker

We were at the Lancashire Market famous for black pudding for last week's Sunday Snap. I asked where it was and the answer is


This week we are crossing the county border and going to Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire. It is one of many aristocratic and stately homes that has been filled with the creations of an 18th century furniture maker. He was born in Otley, West Yorkshire in 1718. His family were carpenters and joiners but he also had a talent for drawing which along with his entrepreneurial streak enabled him to develop his own business. His skills came into demand at a time when business was booming in Britain. This was due to a period of peace combined with flourishing trade routes thanks to trade in sugar, textiles and the exploitation of slaves.

In 1765 Rowland Winn inherited Nostell Priory from his father. He had high aspirations in politics and saw Nostell Priory as the perfect setting to show off his wealth by filling it with the latest fashions. Nostell Priory had been left half finished by Winn's father and he commissioned Robert Adam to complete it. In turn it seems he took Adam's recommendation on who to use to furnish and decorate it.

By the time he taken on the commission this furniture maker was already known for his innovative designs. However, the business model meant that he worked with financial risk all the time. Premises, materials and highly skilled employees cost a lot of money. It didn't help that many of his clients seemed unwilling or unable to pay for their commissions. Indeed when Winn died his plans at Nostell Priory were still only half finished due to Winn's reluctance to pay as his finances diminished through his extravagant spending. By the time this furniture maker died in 1779 he left just £20. Despite his lasting fame no one knows what exactly he looked like as no portrait of him exists.

Despite there being over 50,000 furniture makers working in England in the 18th century it is still this one man's name and style that is remembered today. One of the more bizarre ways his name lives on is through the name of an all male American dance troupe known for performing topless except for a shirt collar, bow tie and cuffs. The inspiration for their name comes from the style of chairs they use in their routines. This week's question is

What is the name of the furniture maker?
We were joined last week by Susan and a trip to Northumberland. The cats seem to have become friends at Anne's. In New Zealand Betty found a wet but beautiful Milford Sound. Jesh has been having a look round old Folsum.

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Sunday Snap

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  1. It has to be Chippendale????

  2. Thomas Chippendale, and I didn't get that just from your male stripper clue :)
    Thanks for hosting x

  3. I am guessing Chippendale, purely from the stripper reference. lol. Hope you are having a good week x


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