Willson, Thomas

68 Gt Queen St, London; furniture broker, etc.(1799–1854)
The impressed mark ‘T. WILLSON 68 GREAT QUEEN STREET LONDON’ has been found stamped on some late 18th-/early-19th century furniture (Fig. 9). Directories have yielded the undermentioned information:

1799: Thomas Wilson, auctioneer, Little Queen St.

1802: Thomas Wilson, auctioneer and u, 28 Little Queen St.

1821: Thomas Willson, broker and appraiser, 68 Great Queen St.

Thomas Wilson, 28 Little Queen St.

1822: Thomas Wilson, auctioneer and appraiser, 68 Great Queen St.

1823–25: Thomas Wilson, auctioneer, 28 Little Queen St. 1826: Thomas Wilson, furniture broker, 68 Great Queen St. 1828: Thomas Wilson, furniture appraiser and broker, 68 Great Queen St.

1829: Thomas Wilson, furniture appraiser and broker, 68 Great Queen St.

1830–37: Mary Wilson & Son, 68 Great Queen St.

1838–54: Matthew Wilson/Willson, furniture warehouse/ furniture works/u, 68 Great Queen St.

1839: J. Willson, furniture broker, 34 Little Pulteney St, Golden Sq.

Compilers of directories vary in accuracy and there seems to have been a predictable confusion between the surnames Willson and the more familiar Wilson. Available material suggests that the Willsons were likely to have been dealers in good quality second-hand furniture (brokers). Although some of the 1838–54 entries refer to ‘Furniture Works’, the term may have been employed to described a repair workshop and not necessarily a manufactory. [Furn. Hist., 1974] Pieces of furniture bearing the distinctive stamp range in date over the years c.1780 to c.1840, and are of mahogany unless otherwise stated. They include:

Pembroke table, the top of serpentine outline and the supports of tapering turned form with brass cup castors. [Conn., August 1952, p. xxx, advert.]

Chest of drawers, serpentine, top crossbanded with ebonized border and inlaidstringing; four long drawers crossbanded with satinwood and the chamfered angles inlaid with pendent husks. [Christie's, 26 February 1970, lot 91]

Secretaire-chest, serpentine, top with gadrooned border, having three long drawers below a simulated pair that fall to reveal fitted secretaire, the canted angles carved with strapwork entwining foliage and flowers. [Sotheby's, 10 December 1965, lot 157]

Chest of drawers, bow-fronted, three small drawers above four long drawers all with satinwood bandings. [Sotheby's, 18 March 1966, lot 73]

Toilet table, banded in ebony and satinwood. Divided tray top enclosing compartments, with a drawer in the front and tapering legs. [Sotheby's, 18 March 1966, lot 74]

Sideboard, bow-fronted, two deep drawers flanking central shallow drawer over a tambour-fronted cupboard, the drawers cross-banded with satinwood and inlaid with fan ornament and the whole raised on square tapering legs with spade feet. [Antique Collector, June 1960, advert.]

Sideboard, Sheraton period, in the Dining Room at Wallington, Northumb.

Davenport, late Regency period. [Antique Collecting, August 1972, p. 20, advert.]

Wardrobe, c.1835 with two narrow hanging compartments flanking six drawers. [G. Wills, English Furniture 1760–1900] G. W.