Howard and Sons are now most famous for the comfort and elegance of their easy armchairs and sofas but they were also one of the most successful and well known of the big Victorian cabinet-making firms. Begun by John Howard as early as 1820, by 1854 he had established himself in large premises in Berners Street in Soho. The huge success of his business was partly due to his exploitation of the worldwide fashion for commercial exhibitions. The firm exhibited at many of these, whether in France or America, and built up a formidable international business as a result. By the end of the century they were able to supply the full range of country house furniture, as demonstrated by the group at Stokesay Court, Shropshire, sold in Sotheby's house sale, 28 September - 1 October 1994.