With the exception of the cheval mirror all these pieces are directly copied from those supplied to the actor and theatrical impresario, David Garrick for his villa on the Thames at Hampton in the mid-1770's by Thomas Chippendale. In all three cases the original piece has been in the Victoria and Albert Museum since 1916-17. The attribution to Druce & Co. rests on the evidence of a photograph in the furniture Department of that museum showing a modern copy of the bedstead; the print is inscribed Druce and Co. (E.9357).
The furniture was extremely famous from a very early stage. The contents of the villa were dispersed on the death, at the age of ninety-eight, of Garrick's widow, Maria, in 1822. Most of the Chippendale furniture was bought back by her solicitor who had purchased the house and was keen to preserve the actor's memory. It was finally dispersed in 1864. The dating of these replicas to the years after the First World War is confirmed by the fact that the dimensions of the bed in this lot are those of the Garrick bed after it was reduced in size by an owner in the period 1864-1916. Thus it is certain that these replicas were made after the furniture was lodged in the Museum.
Stylistically the Garrick suite fits happily, if unusually, into Chippendale's work of the mid-1770's. The Garricks clearly felt that the novel painted furniture would be ideally suited for a rural retreat but the decorative motifs can usually be found in his more conventional work. The painted elements can moreover be compared to those on his japanned furniture, for example the set of green and white chairs supplied to Paxton in 1774.
Winnington Hall is an historic mixture of styles, including much by James Wyatt 1770-1780. By the late 19th Century it had passed from the Stanley of Alderley family and had fallen into disrepair. It was extensively restored in an 18th Century antiquarian style by Darcy Braddell after the First World Warr for the chamical magnate Dr Mond (see: C. Hussey, Winnington Hall, Cheshire, Country Life, 1923, vol. LIV, pp.314-319)