Skip to main content

Best, John (1798-1839)

Best, John, St Columb Major, Cornwall, cm, u, general furnishing warehouse, auctioneer and agent to the Royal Exchange Fire Office (1798–1839). Advertised in the Royal Cornwall Gazette, 29 August 1801 for ‘a sober, steady footman’ who ‘must understand breweing etc.’ In that year he purchased ‘several dwelling houses & premises’ for £235. [Cornwall RO, DDCF 988/1–2] Advertised again in the Royal Cornwall Gazette, 31 July 1802. He may be the ‘Mr. Best, upholsterer’ who subscribed to Sheraton's Cabinet Dictionary, 1803. On 10 March 1806, he advertised in the Sherborne and Devon Mercury ‘To be Let by Private Contract’ his ‘large front shop, neatly fitted up with circular windows, two parlours, kitchen, and other offices, with six good bedrooms and several closets. And if required the tenant may be accomodated with a large range of workshops and lofts’. Best does not seem to have given up trading, since his name occurs in directories in 1824 and 1830, and a pair of late Regency mahogany turned daybeds bear the words ‘John Best 1816 Columb’, hand written in pencil on the rails. There may, however, be a John Best jnr, since a cm of that name married Sarah Trevesso Carbis on 29 June 1839. [Cornwall RO, DDCF 992] A mahogany veneered work table with crossbanded borders and stringing is in the Noël Riley Coll. and has John Best's long and informative trade label pasted underneath the lid (Fig. 25). [D; Furn. Hist., 1976, pls 36B and 37]

The original entry from Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840 can be found at British History Online.