James Shoolbred & Co. are recorded at the Victoria and Albert Museum as furniture makers. They exhibited 'a very extensive selection of items' in the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition. Much of the furniture they designed was influenced by the 'Aesthetic Taste', popularised by the architect E.W. Godwin. Shoolbred & Co. became one of the first large department stores in London. They expanded from a small draper business and started to manufacture high quality furniture circa 1870, for which they were given a Royal warrant by the mid-1880s.
An almost identical hall stand by Shoolbred was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 14 September 2000, lot 7 (£4,112).