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Walker, Richard (1771-1805)

Walker, Richard, Manchester, cm (1771–1805). Also listed as a looking-glass manufacturer in 1781 and as an appraiser and auctioneer in 1788–1802. At 122 Deangate, 1771–81, but from 1788–1808 at 16 St Mary's Gate. An advertisement of August 1771 suggests that by this date the business was already well established. He had stocks of mahogany which he offered for sale. In November of the same year he featured in an advertisement a stock of mirrors which he had purchased in London ‘remarkably cheap’. This ‘large and elegant Assortment of Looking-Glasses, in the newest taste’ consisted of ‘ovals and Piers, in burnished Gold; ovals painted Green and the ornaments burnished gold; ovals painted white; variety of Japann'd Dressing-Glasses, Sconce-Glasses with Mahogany Frames and gilt Edges, &c.’. Although he was to claim in 1781 to be a looking-glass manufacturer it would seem likely that at this earlier date he had no facilities for his own manufacture. The business must have enjoyed a good reputation locally and attracted patrons of consequence. Commissions were undertaken for Dunham Massey, Cheshire, 1779–86. On 24 June 1779 £15 8s was paid for a bookcase and press and Venetian blinds. A further £16 12s 6d was paid on 3 November 1779 and £23 13s 6d on 18 September 1784. Mahogany timber was purchased by a payment of £1 14s on 29 July 1785 and £2 10s paid on 24 June 1786 was for glass bottles for a lady's dressing table. In 1788 Walker supplied sofas, carpets, window curtains and card tables for the Ball Room and Card Room of the Great Hotel, the Crescent, Buxton, his account being examined before payment by John Carr, the architect. Sir John Leicester of Tabley Hall, Cheshire, also patronised Walker. Between June 1794 and August 1798 three payments totalling £19 9s 9d were made for paint, repairs to Venetian blinds and mahogany stringing etc. [D; Prescott's Manchester Journal, 10 August 1771, 9 November 1771; John Rylands Lib., Manchester Univ., George Cooke's accounts; Chatsworth papers, 635; Chester RO, Leicester papers]

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