REF NO : B76710

Style of Thomas Sheraton

A Late Victorian Satinwood Library Table or Desk

England, Circa 1890


A Late Victorian Satinwood Library Table or Desk, In the Style of Thomas Sheraton. The top of shimmering satinwood. The frieze fitted with twelve drawers...


Height: 74 cm (30 in)
Width: 168 cm (67 in)
Depth: 105 cm (42 in)
REF NO : B76710


A Late Victorian Satinwood Library Table or Desk, In the Style of Thomas Sheraton.

The top of shimmering satinwood. The frieze fitted with twelve drawers each with cross banded surround and gilt-bronze loop handle. On six tapering legs with spade shaped feet.

English, Circa 1890.

Robert William Hudson (1856–1937).
Villa Paloma, Monaco.


Circa 1890





Style of Thomas Sheraton

Thomas Sheraton (1751 – 22 October 1806) was a furniture designer, one of the “big three” English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite. Sheraton gave his name to a style of furniture characterised by a refinement of late Georgian styles and became one of the most powerful sources of inspiration behind the furniture of the late 18th century.

Sheraton was born in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. He was apprenticed to a local cabinet maker and continued working as a journeyman cabinet maker until he moved to London in 1790, aged 39. There he set up as professional consultant and teacher, teaching perspective, architecture, and cabinet design for craftsmen. It is not known how he gained either the knowledge or the reputation which enabled him to do this, but he appears to have been moderately successful.

Starting in 1791 he published in four volumes The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book. At least six hundred cabinet makers and joiners subscribed to his book, and it was immediately influential. During this period he did not have a workshop of his own and it is believed that Sheraton himself never made any of the pieces shown in his books. No pieces of furniture have ever been traced to him directly.

In 1803 he published The Cabinet Dictionary, a compendium of instructions on the techniques of cabinet and chair making. Then a year before his death, in 1805 he published the first volume of The Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and General Artist’s Encyclopaedia.

Sheraton’s name is associated with the styles of furniture fashionable in the 1790s and early 19th century. Many of the designs are based on classical architecture, knowledge of which was an essential part of a designer’s technical education. Not all of the drawings are of his own design – he acknowledged that some of them came from works in progress in the workshops of practising cabinet makers – but he was a superb draughtsman and he set his name on the style of the era.


Robert William Hudson (1856–1937).
Villa Paloma, Monaco.

This library table or centre table dating to the late Victorian or Edwardian period is provenanced to the collection of Robert William Hudson (1856–1937).

Hudson made his fortune from soap-flakes and by then selling his business to Lever Brothers in about 1908. Hudson built a house called ‘Bidston Court’ on Bidston Hill in Birkenhead and in 1899 the Neo-Gothic Stanhope House at 46-47 Park Lane, London. He also bought the then-named Villa Coquette in 1925 and it was his second wife, Beatrice Sabina, nee Gaudengio (d. 1950), whom he married in 1932, who renamed the house as the Villa Paloma. The Villa now serves as the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. Hudson’s art collection included important paintings by Gainsborough, Hoppner and Romney, and for furniture he favoured satinwood and formed an important collection of Sheraton style pieces, of the period and the revival, of which this table was part.

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