Edwards & Roberts
London; furniture makers, upholsterers and dealers (fl.1854-c.1895)
Makers of fine, French style or reproduction furniture in the styles of Adam, Hepplewhite or Sheraton, in the second half of the 19th century. Described in the 1854 Kelly’s Post Office Directory of London as ‘antique and modern cabinet makers and importers of ancient furniture’. In 1871 listed at 16, 17, 18, 20 & 21 Wardour Street, 14 Great Chapel Street and 7 Little Chapel Street, Soho and after 1892 listed at 148-160 Wardour Street. Examples of their work included a copy of a table in the John Jones collection, V&A (illus. Agius (1978), p. 17) and an Art movement ebonized cabinet with spindles, painted panels, bevelled mirrors, brackets and gilt incised lines stamped Edwards and Roberts (illus. Agius (1978), p. 139). The firm exhibited at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition where their work comprised ‘... quelques meubles en palissandre, traits dans le gout rocaille et rappelant la Regence, attestent assurement une grand habilete, mais ne nous apportent, helas! aucun enseignement precieux’ [Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1889, Vol. 2, p. 178].
Regency-style chair originally designed by Thomas Hope c. 1807 [W.29-1976], c. 1892. © Victoria and Albert Museum.
Over a thousand design drawings by Edwards & Roberts, part of the Evan Bedford Library of Furniture History, are now housed in the Brotherton Library of Leeds University.
Sources: Agius, British Furniture 1880-1915 (1978); Collard, ‘The Regency Revival’, The Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the Present (1984); Meyer, Great Exhibitions. London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia. 1851-1900 (2006).