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Masters, William (1740-61)

Masters, William, at ‘The Golden Fleece’, Coventry St, Piccadilly, London, cm, upholder, appraiser and undertaker (c. 1740–61). Ran a flourishing business, although his only recorded productions are at Blair Castle, Perthshire, supplied to the 2nd Duke of Atholl between c.1747–60. Twenty bills with the heading of a fleece in a Rococo cartouche are preserved at Blair Castle, totalling about £4,700. He was largely responsible for refurbishing the State Rooms, and pieces identified by his bills are dumb waiters, supplied in 1749; a ‘Large mahogany frame for a slab with shaped feet & a leaf on the Knees’ on 10 May 1749; a set of twelve oak hall chairs in 1751; a large mahogany sideboard table ‘in one piece of fine Wood, Keywork round the frame & Gothick brackets’, on 10 February 1753; a mahogany tripod table with an octagonal top supplied in 1751 or 55; a set of chairs in the blue bedroom in 1756; a four-poster bed with clustered Gothic shafts and a cresting decorated with ‘fleur-de-lys’ and Rococo ornament, hung with the original crimson damask, in 1756; a tea-table with a gallery top, and a set of chairs and stools in the small drawing room, 1756; and on 20 February 1756 ‘2 Mahogany candlestands with openwork tops and fluted pillars ribb'd … £3.’ [DEF; GCM, pls 220–21; C. Life, 11 and 18 November 1949; Conn., vol. 154, 1963, pp. 77– 83; A. Coleridge, Thomas Chippendale, pp. 156–57, pls 395–402]

The original entry from Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840 can be found at British History Online.