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Cribb, Robert (1790–1834)

Cribb, Robert

High Holborn, London; carver, gilder and print seller (fl.1790–1834)

Cribb was located at 288 High Holborn, near Great Turnstile. In 1785 insurance cover on utensils, stock and goods in trust was £300. His business venture was apparently successful because in 1790 he purchased insurance cover of £1,000, half of which covered goods and utensils in his dwelling house, counting house and workshops used in connection with the business [London Metropolitan Archive (LMA) Sun MS vol. 370; vol. 328, p. 576].

His trade card indicates that he made looking glasses and picture frames, offered to re-gild old frames and re-silver mirror plates. Pictures were cleaned, lined and repaired and Venetian window blinds and paper hangings stocked.

Image
Trade card
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Trade card of R. Cribb at N288 near Great Turn stile, Holborn, c.1791 [Heal,32.14]. © The Trustees of the British Museum 

After 1806 Cribb's son was assisting him in the business and the trading style changed to Robert Cribb & Son.

A different card displays the Prince of Wales’ feathers and reads: ‘Carvers and gilders to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales’.

Image
Trade card
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Trade card of R. Cribb & Son at No 288 High Holborn, c.1811 [Banks,32.15], c. 1811. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Royal commissions were received and in July 1810 £6 11s 10d was paid to the firm for work undertaken. Other important clients were served. Sir Joshua Reynolds used a frame maker by the name of Cribb who may be this maker [Windsor Royal Archives, RA 89007].

Three other tables of the same type, although not signed, are undoubtedly from the same source because some of his furniture was marked with paper trade labels:

  • A pair of painted pier glasses so labelled and dated in manuscript 21 June 1805 were included in the Sotheby's sale of 2 June 1967, lot 118, and one was sold at Christie’s 27 Feb 1992, lot 64 (illus. Gilbert (1996), figs 254 and 256).
  • A pier glass labelled Robert Cribb & Son with an inscription indicating ownership by the Monkton family is illustrated in Gilbert (1996) fig. 257.
  • A labelled convex girandole mirror was sold at Christie’s New York, 12-13 Oct 1995, lot 329 (illus. Gilbert (1996), fig. 255).

There is also a trade card for Robert Cribb in the John Johnstone collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Sources: DEFM;Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996); Stabler, ‘Furniture Makers’ Trade-Cards and Bill-Heads in the John Johnson Collection’, Furniture History Society Newsletter (May 2007).

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