‘The White Swan’, against the South Gate, St Paul's Churchyard, London, cabinet maker (1740–c. 1758).
Successor to Henry Bell at this address and almost certainly his widow. The trade labels that she used are identical to those of Henry Bell with the exception of the name. Most of the bills name the business as Elizabeth Bell & Son, the son probably being Philip who was in charge of the business by 1758.
Trade card of Elizabeth Bell & Son at the White Swan against the South Gate in St Pauls Church Yard, c.1740-58 (Heal,28.13). © The Trustees of the British Museum
Following the practice of Henry Bell, Elizabeth appears to have frequently labelled furniture. Such pieces include a walnut bureau and a walnut kneehole chest, a black lacquer dwarf chest-on-chest, a mahogany chest-on-chest with slide and a mahogany card or tea table with rectangular top on cabriole legs. Those listed above and other labelled pieces are illustrated in Gilbert (1966), figs 74-81.
Source: DEFM; Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996).