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Old, William & Ody, John (1717-1733)

Old, William & Ody, John

‘The Castle’, St Paul's Churchyard, London; cabinet and chair makers (fl. 1717-33)

Old & Ody
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
British Museum
William Old and John Ody At the Castle in St Paul's Church-Yard over against the South-Gate of the Church, London.  c. 1717-33 (Heal,28.159). © The Trustees of the British Museum

The partnership of Old and Ody was established about 1717, probably after John Ody was married to William Old’s daughter, Mary. Ody was a cabinet maker and Old was a turner and chair maker, so together they formed a business supplying both case furniture and seat furniture. Their trade label declared that they made and sold 'all sorts of Cane & Dutch Chairs Chair Frames for Stuffing and Cane Sashes. And also all sorts of the best Looking-Glas & Cabinet-Work in Japan Walnut Tree Wainscot at Reasonable Rates'. 

The phrase ‘Chair Frames for Stuffing’ indicates they did not do upholstery work. A number of pieces of case furniture bearing the Old & Ody label survive, several of which are illus. in Gilbert, Marked London Furniture (1996). Only a pair of labelled chairs is known (Museum of the Home, inv. No. 14/2006).

William Old died in 1728, but the partnership continued until John Ody’s death in 1733. In 1738 Old’s widow advertised the sale of her stock from the ‘Castle’ and she subsequently remarried to Henry Howard, a cabinet maker. See William Old and John Ody.

Source: DEFM; Lindey, ‘William Old and John Ody 'At the Castle in St Paul's Church-Yard'’, FHS Newsletter (February 2006).

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