Designer / Maker
The design attributed to E.W. Godwin (1833-86)
Manufactured by Waugh & Sons
Walnut, with carved boxwood panels and ebonised details; painted panels and brass handles
237 x 213 x 74 cm
English (London), probably mid- to late-1870s
Stamped ‘WAUGH & SONS / LONDON’ on large proper left drawer
Presumably made for John West Wilson (1816–89), and by descent; Crafoord (auction), Gothenburg, around 2000; Boldon Auction Galleries, 2000
Susan Weber, intro., E.W. Godwin Furniture, London, 2019, no. 6
Waugh & Sons of 65, Tottenham Court Road, London was a carpet manufacturer, upholsterer, gilt and decorative furniture maker, etc. In 1876 a quantity of furniture designs were ordered from Godwin for stock. In 1881 the designer supplied the firm with a complete interior scheme, including carpets (Aslin, E.W. Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1986, p. 22). References to Waugh include one in a Godwin ledger book (V&A: AAD 4/12–1980, f. 14, Soros, The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin with Catalogue Raisonné 1999, p. 276, n. 133,). Godwin supplied Waugh’s offices with ‘Anglo-Greek’ furniture, also in 1876 (Soros, 1999, p. 58 and n. 194).
The present cabinet is the first piece of furniture to be identified that can be associated with Godwin’s designs for Waugh. The shallow carved, Japanese-inspired boxwood door and drawer panels are redolent of his aesthetic, as are the painted vases of flowers in the coving at the top.
John West Wilson, who was born in Hull and died in Gothenburg, established the Hull-based shipping firm Thos. Wilson Sons & Co., which later had a branch in Gothenburg, now called Wilson Logistics.
Photographed in situ, not in a studio, hence the less than perfect quality of the images.