Fish, Peter

Hopton, Suffolk; cabinet maker(1744–d. 1788)
Two walnut bureaux bear an inscription by Peter Fish. The earliest is veneered in walnut with two small and two long drawers and is decorated with two rows of chevron banding and crossbanding. The interior is fitted with a well and inlaid with a chequer pattern and a half compass medallion. Written in pencil underneath a drawer is ‘Maker Peter Fish for Mrs. Verlander, Hopton, Suffolk. Decbr. 15th 1744’. The strengthening blocks of the feet are also stamped ‘P.F.’. The second bureau is of similar pattern but with a single row of chevron banding, the interior having a central cupboard door with columns either side and drawers and pigeon holes. On one of the pull-out columns is written ‘Made by Peter Fish, Hopton, Suffolk, Janauary 1749’.

Hopton is a village approximately ten miles north-east of Bury St Edmunds and in the 1801 Census is listed with a population of 433. The parents of Peter Fish appear to have moved into the village after his birth as the first reference to the name Fish appears in the parish records in 1728. Peter Fish was married on 1 November 1748 and two sons are recorded as being bapt.: Peter in 1750 and Samuel in 1754. No other details of the family have been found in Hopton, possibly because they moved into the adjoining parish of Garboldisham as that is the place of residence given in his will which was proven on 13 August 1788. [Furn. Hist., 1978; Christie's, 27 November 1980, lot 98] R.W.