Relevant categories: Cabinets and Chests,Desks
(Above photo - Antique Bookcase Cabinet Maple and Co Victorian Satinwood )
In the late 19th century, British furniture makers were the most successful. A good example is the Maple & Co antique furniture makers, which thrived in making Victorian and Edwardian furniture. Their furniture pieces had the finest quality and craftsmanship.
Apart from making furniture in contemporary styles, they would copy old designs and update them. By aligning older designs to modern trends, they created something unique that made their pieces popular worldwide. As a result, they produced high-quality Chippendale and Hepplewhite works. The company also had the reputation of making some of the best Arts & Crafts furniture.
(Above photo - Antique Pedestal Desk by Maple and Co - Mahogany Writing Table 1880 )
John Maple was a shopkeeper in Surrey when an idea came to open a furniture shop. In 1941, Maple & Co set up shop in Tottenham Court Road, London. Within a few years, Maple & Co had established itself as the world’s furniture store.
Sir John Blundell Maple, son of the founder of the business, took it to greater heights of success. He joined his father’s business at 16 years old but soon proved that he had better skills than his father. His dedication to the industry saw it become more significant than any other furniture maker in the world. The company made and sold high-class furniture to wealthy individuals worldwide.
(Above photo - Victorian Display Cabinet - Antique Satinwood Maple and Co 1880 )
During that time, the British Empire was expanding fast, something that John Blundell decided to use to the company’s advantage. They supplied furniture to palaces, British Embassies, and so on. Therefore, the company made substantial amounts of money, making John one of the wealthiest people in the world at that time.
The company had the most significant furniture factory in the world. It occupied an expansive area where two hundred residential houses had once stood. The company had to employ a large workforce to meet the growing demand for its high-quality antique furniture. Whenever possible, it also used modern technology, including steam power and electricity. Its large fleet of vehicles enabled the company to supply furniture to any location in the UK.
(Above photo - Antique Display Cabinet Mahogany Maple and Co 1920 )
They did not just cater to the needs of the British market but exported furniture worldwide. With time, they became the preferred source of antique furniture for those looking to revamp their homes’ interior décor. By the late 19th and early 20th century, the company had established workshops and showrooms in London, Buenos Aires, and Paris to supply to their different markets.
Soon after the second world war, the company started to decline due to rising manufacturing costs. There was a shift in people’s tastes and preferences from antique furniture to the more modern Art Deco designs. The company did not respond swiftly to the Art Deco movement, which led to its business decline. Later on, the company merged with Waring & Gillows to form a new company, Maple, Waring & Gillows.
Some furniture manufactured by Maple & Co is still widely available as antiques. You can buy them from a local antique store.
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