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Farrington, Richard Snr and Jnr (1778–1844)

Farrington, Richard snr and jnr

Newcastle; carvers and gilders, cabinet maker and upholder (fl.1778–1844)

Recorded at Painter-heugh, 1778–87; Broad Chair, 1787–1806; Farrington's Court, 8 Bigg Market, 1806–44; and also 10 Eldon Place, 1833–44. As Richard Farrington & Brothers, 1834–38.

Richard Farrington snr advertised in Newcastle Courant, 30 May 1795 as ‘Carver & Gilder … carving on Wood and Stone … also burnished Oil and Glass-gilding for Spandells in Frames, burnished Names, &c.… Figure Heads and Sterns of Ships carved in the most elegant Manner … Likenesses modelled in stained Wax, or carved on Marble.’ A directory of 1793 has the annotation ‘3 sons’ after Farrington's entry. By 1800, Richard was trading in partnership with John Farrington, when they advertised in Newcastle Courant, 25 January; and on 4 October 1806, announcing the firm's expansion into cabinet making, and recruitment of cabinet and chairmakers. Further advertisements occur in the same paper on 25 October 1806; and on 29 July 1809 for Farrington's ‘Fashionable Cabinet Furniture Manufactory and Exhibition Rooms’.

Richard Farrington & Bros. appear to have run a most comprehensive business. The firm's label, c. 1810, headed by a grand engraving of putti carving classical busts, reads: ‘FARRINGTONS, SHIP & HOUSE CARVERS, CABINET MAKERS, JOINERS, Looking Glass & Picture Frame Manufacturers & Gilders in General’, and lists their stock which included marble chimney pieces, chairs, sofas, fire screens, cabinet furniture, ‘& a variety of other Ornaments Either Gilded, Bronzed, or Japanned, such as are not to be equalled at any other Manufactory in the North of England — Also an elegant Collection of Designs of FURNITURE finished in the Egyptian taste. Boarding Schools, Printsellers, Upholsterers, Cabinet Makers & Painters served as usual.’ The label is under the lid of a mahogany cellaret in the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham. This is of sarcophagus form with lion monopodia in giltwood; carved and painted on the front are the arms of Leyton-Blenkinsopp of Hoppyland Hall, near Hamsterley, Co. Durham. (illus. Furniture History, 1976, pl. 31 A&B & Regional Furniture (1993) p.89).

John Wilson Carmichael (1799–1868) was apprenticed to Richard Farrington, who is recorded as having set up as a boat builder between 1810–20, after being a carver and gilder. A bill of 1822 survives, sent by Farrington to Cuthbert Ellison of Hebburn Hall, Co. Durham, and includes repairs to furniture and the making of an old library table into a dressing table. In 1824 Farrington & Bros., chairmakers of Newcastle, submitted a design for an oak chair for the President of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle. Described in the bill as ‘1 best finished elbow chair … elegantly carved and covered with Red morocco leather, silk Tufts &c.’ it cost £8 8s and is now in Newcastle Castle.

Sources: DEFM; Jones, ‘An Anthology of Regional Furniture with Maker’s Identification’, Regional Furniture (1993).

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