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Caldecott, William Edward (1815–1871)

Caldecott, William Edward, Caldecott, Messrs 

Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London; upholsterer, cabinet maker and undertaker (fl.1815–71)

Successor to W. Burdock. By 1820 William Edward Caldecott had developed an extensive business and in December insured his dwelling house, 53 Great Russell Street and the adjacent one, no. 54, for £2,800. Additional cover of £600 was taken out for the workshops in the yard behind. A further policy covered his stock in the two houses for £1,650 and those in a warehouse behind 7 Duke Street for £300. He also owned a house at 4 Crescent Place, Burton Crescent which was let to a tenant and valued with the contents at £1,100. Similar cover was maintained in 1824 with his insurers.

Several of Caldecott's commissions have been traced: On 3 July 1819 he invoiced furniture to J. H. Leigh amounting to £37 8s 3d which included ‘a fine rosewood sofa table’ at 12 guineas. On 3 May 1821 Nicholas Pearse of Loughton, Essex and London settled his account for a night stool £1 11s 6d. On 24 March 1827 and 28 March 1828 bedding to the value of £22 16s was invoiced to Sir William Fraser. He may have been the ‘Caldicott’ who bought 16 lots in the George Bullock Stock in Trade sale in May 1819. The purchases totalled £52 18s 9d and comprised 11 lots connected with upholstery, 1 lot of working drawings (day 3, lot 44) and 2 of the lots comprising panels for room doors (day 2, lots 69 & 70). The business was still trading in the early 1840s and two bills of this period are in the V & A archives.

Messrs. Caldecott exhibited a sideboard in old English oak in restrained Renaissance style and and an octagon table inlaid with amboyna wood at the 1851 Great Exhibition. They also participated in the 1862 London International Exhibition displaying a monumental sideboard (illus. Meyer (2006), p. 141).

Post Office Directories of 1845 & 1871 recorded William Caldecott at 53 & 54, Great Russell Street as an upholsterer (1845) then cabinet maker (1871). 

Sources: DEFM; Levy, ‘George Bullock and Charles Fraser’, Furniture History (1989); Meyer, Great Exhibitions. London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia. 1851-1900 (2006)

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