William Vile (1715-1767), one of the finest cabinetmakers of a generation that included the likes of Thomas Chippendale, began his career in the workshop of William Hallett Sr. (circa 1707-1781). By 1751, Vile had established his own workshop with John Cobb (circa 1715-1778), and his former master Hallett acting as a silent partner. The firm of Vile and Cobb inherited Hallett's former clients, as well as developing their own prestigious clientele, which would come to include George III and Queen Charlotte, who ordered a quantity of furniture from Vile & Cobb following their purchase of Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace) in 1761.
Vile and Cobbs' furniture was especially renowned for the extremely high quality of its crisp, vigorous carving and the unusually fine veneers employed. Their workmen, including John Bradburne (active 1750-1781) and Sefferin Alken (1744-1783), who was the carver of much of the furniture designed by Robert Adam for Croome Court. The bookcase presented here is remarkable for the fine and detailed carving of the pediment, as well as the strong and bold rendering of the acanthus leaf carving on the cabinet doors.
Provenance: Woodlands, Yorkshire Frank Partridge, Inc., New York
Literature: "The Magazine Antiques," May 1955, p. 366 (ill.)