Bradford, Yorks.; cabinet maker (fl.1850-c.1920)
An employee of Joseph Nutter of Bradford, he took over the business in partnership with Thomas Prince when Nutter retired in 1850. The firm produced a large variety of general furnishings of sound but unspectacular quality, including revival styles: Queen Anne, Chippendale, Adam &c. Later experimented with Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau and for a time were agents for Liberty & Co. Their Bradford desk won a gold medal at the Brussels International Exhibition, 1910. Powered machinery was installed in 1874. Much of the work was outsourced to smaller furniture makers in the locality, and Pratts also bought in from supplier in London and elsewhere, including William Smee & Son (London), C. & W. Trapnell (Bristol), Jennens & Bettridge (Birmigham). From the 1850 onwards they also bought from stock quantities of Windsor chairs from B. North, E. Hutchinson & Son and Glenisters of High Wycombe. Their trade catalogue for 1901 [Temple Newsam, Leeds] includes a list of suggested furnishings for a servant’s bedroom at a total cost of £5 12s 3d. In 1902 they won a contract worth £9,062 to supply Scalebor Park Asylum, Yorkshire with furniture to equip this new mental hospital. Each patient’s room was equipped with a fumed oak bed, a chair, a single-door wardrobe, a combination wash-stand cum dressing table with marble slab and tile splash-back and a bedside pedestal.
Source: Gilbert, ‘Victorian and Edwardian Furniture by Pratts of Bradford’, Furniture History (1971), shorter notices; Gilbert, English Vernacular Furniture 1750-1900 (1991).