Life, death and furniture-makers: Services for London houses, c. 1810-1850

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century London furniture-makers offered a much wider variety of services than furniture-makers and interior decorators do nowadays. They were not limited to house decoration, cleaning, alteration, and repairing, but also included house-letting, advertising, making inventories, arranging removals, caretaking, and even arranging funerals. This article examines the relationships between furniture-makers and customers through these services, using Gillow's London showroom account book (1844-6), the letter book of Miles and Edwards (1836-44), and letters and ledgers of other London makers. The services suggest that furniture-makers maintained a relationship with their customers that went significantly beyond the provision of ready-made goods. Indeed, they indicate furniture-makers' active involvement in the private lives of their customers, and customers' reliance on the furniture-makers, who responded to changes and needs in the house.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalLondon Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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