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Model & Co. (1881-1900)

Model & Co.

London; bamboo furniture manufacturers; blind makers; artists in stained glass (fl.1881-1900)

Listed between 1881-1900 at 26 Tottenham Street; 4 North Street, Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square; 9 & 10 Charlotte Mews, Tottenham Street. Model & Co. was one of the earliest major bamboo & cane furniture makers. They first advertised in The Furniture Gazette (15 October 1881) and The Furniture Gazette (7 January 1882) illustrated 3 bamboo screens. 

Referring to the firm, the Cabinet Maker and Art Furnisher, December 1882, said that ‘the idea of utilizing the bamboo cane for articles of fancy furniture is a very happy one, and although the trade in such goods is of recent origin, the amount of business done in these pretty adjuncts to the drawing room is most extensive’. Early designs, particularly for fire-screens, incorporated interesting materials such as ferns, stuffed birds, stained or leaded glass, oriental embroidery and Wedgwood tiles.

In November 1897 the Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher described the firm as producing a cheaper class of bamboo furniture while still preferring to be known as specialists and the ‘aristocracy’ of the business. Examples of their advertisements with drawings of products are illus. Walkling (1979), pp. 82-86.

Model participated in three exhibitions:

  • Furniture Exhibition, Agricultural Hall, 1882, displaying ‘an extensive range of bamboo fire-screens, with embroidered silk what nots; music stands; fern-decorated, painted and stained glass panels; flower stands and other fancy goods’.
  • 3rd & 4th Annual Furniture Exhibitions, 1883 & 1884  
  • Paris International Exhibition, 1889: displaying Japanese bamboo tables, stands, screens etc., and some with pretty lacquered tops [The Furniture Gazette, 13 May 1882; 5 May 1883; 10 May 1884; 1 July 1889].

Model & Co. were taken over about 1900 by Merrifield & Co.

Source: Walkling, Antique Bamboo Furniture (1979).