This elegant library bookcase displays reeded and vase-capped 'herm' colonettes and reeded ribbons looped in Grecian frets at the corners, features that appear on other Gillow commissions. A secretaire-bookcase that shares these distinctive features, but with grille-inset doors, was commissioned by John Lloyd Wynne (d.1862) from Gillows of Oxford Street and executed at their Lancaster branch. A pattern dated December 1807 features in the firm's Estimate Sketch Books preserved at the Westminster Library. The bookcase was sold privately on behalf of the family through Christie's to the Welsh Folk Museum, St. Fagan's but the bookcase and the drawing are listed in the Christie's London catalogue, 18 April 1996, lot 234. Another bookcase with similar reeded pilasters is illustrated in F.L. Hinckley, The More Significant Regency Furniture 1800-1830, New York, 1991, p.74, fig.96. The use of looped reeded panels can also be seen in many of the pieces Gillows supplied for Wilbrarham Egerton at Tatton Park, Cheshire, principally in 1811-12 (illustrated in N. Goodison and J. Hardy, 'Gillows at Tatton Park', Furniture History, 19070, plates 10a to 13a). A bookcase-cabinet attributed to the firm featuring inlaid looped panels, the property of a New York Collector, was sold in these Rooms, 24-25 January 2001, lot 386 ($64,625).
The stamp GILLOWS.LANCASTER dates this piece to about 1800, when this particular stamp was in use.