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Rackstrow (or Rackstraw), Benjamin (1720-72)

Rackstrow (or Rackstraw), Benjamin, London, cm, sculptor and picture frame maker (c.1720–d.1772). Trade card, c.1720, shows early-Georgian mirror, and gives address at ‘The Crown & Looking-Glass’, the lower end of the paved stones in St Martin's Lane, and states that Rackstrow ‘Makes and Sells all sorts of Cabinet Work, Looking-Glasses, Coachglasses, Window-Blinds, Picture-frames &c. after the newest fashion and at the most Reasonable Rates. He likewise cleans and repairs all sorts of Cabinet work, Exchanges New Glasses for Old ones and makes Old ones fashionable. NB. He also cleans Pictures in the best manner and takes off Busto's, Basso Releivs and Figures of any Size, in Wax, Metal, or Plaister of Paris’. A second address, at ‘Sir Isaac Newton's Head’, the corner of Crane Ct, Fleet St, is on a Rococo trade card dated 1738, and signed by the engraver and furniture designer, Henry Copland. It is worded similarly to the preceding card. Rackstrow announced in Daily Advertiser, 5 May 1747 that he had ‘found out and completed an Apparatus to exhibit that Grand Experiment the Chair of Beatification…’. On 14 April 1739 Benjamin Rackstrow submitted a bill to Sir R. Hoare for ‘mahogany top to table’, costing £1 5s, for Barn Elms House. The London Magazine reported the death of Benjamin Rackstrow on 29 May 1772. It is possible that two men, perhaps father and son, have been confused here. [Banks Coll., BM; Heal; Wills, Looking-Glasses; C. Life, 7 May 1759, p. 1031; V&A Lib., English Manuscripts, tradesmen's bills to Sir R. Hoare]

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