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Cooper & Holt (1862-1914)

Cooper & Holt

48-51 Bunhill Row, London; upholsterers, furniture makers, billiard & bagatelle table makers and bedstead manufacturers (fl.1862-1914)

Primarily known as makers of furniture in Adam, Sheraton and Hepplewhite styles from 1862 onwards. Recorded in the 1871 Post Office Directory and The Furniture Gazette Directory, 1873, 1876 & 1877 as makers of billiard tables & bagatelle board manufacturers, cabinet makers, bedstead makers and upholsterers. They advertised as wholesale and export furniture makers and upholsterers from 1870; often promoting the Vaile’s patent reversible dining, billiard & library table with slate bed, which the firm manufactured. 


The firm furnished the reception rooms and reading room for the British Commissioners for the World’s Fair at Vienna in 1873 and received a medal [The Furniture Gazette, 19 July 1873]. At the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition 1876, they exhibited ‘Queen Anne’ and other furniture including an aesthetic style cabinet (illus. Meyer (2006), p. 213), and also supplied ‘Sideboards, Dining and other Tables’ together with ‘Cabinets, the Carved Oak and Walnut Mantel Pieces and fittings for the Offices and Staff Quarters’ of the British Section. They were awarded a medal [The Furniture Gazette, 29 January & 14 October 1876]. 


It is believed that the firm probably carried out medium sized commissions for various institutions, such as:

* Lord Mayor's Day, 1882 & 1884, upholstery work [The Furniture Gazette, 11 November 1882 & 25 October 1884].

* Lunatic Asylum of Salop, Montgomery, Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Bridport & Ludlow with furniture & bedding costing £661 in 1884.

Cooper & Holt were listed as art furniture manufacturers and merchants in The Furniture Gazette Diary and Desk Book, 1886.  In 1889 they took over the business of Moore & Hunton [The Furniture Gazette, 1 June 1889] and Post Office Directories list the firm in Bunhill Row until 1914. Nothing has so far come to light the partners although Mr. Holt may be William Holt, a furniture manufacturer aged 71 and living in Islington in 1881.  

Sources: Collard, ‘The Regency Revival’, The Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the Present (1984); Donnelly, ‘British Furniture at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, 1876’ Furniture History (2001); Meyer, Great Exhibitions. London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia. 1851-1900 (2006).