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Silk, Thomas (1767–1801)

Silk, Thomas

London; upholder, appraiser, undertaker and cabinet maker (fl. 1767–1801)

Freeman of London and a member of the Joiners’ and Ironmongers’ Companies.

In 1767 he was at Little Carter Lane; from 1768–71 was at Bell Yard, Doctors Commons; 1772–1801 at 4 St Paul's Churchyard  next to ‘The Queen's Arms Tavern’. His trade card printed with this address is in the John Johnson Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

From 1767–83 he took out licences to employ non-freemen on a regular basis, the number often being six. William Cobett was his apprentice in the 1770s. In 1772 he supplied two mahogany sideboards to the proprietors of the Coal Exchange in Lower Thames Street at a cost of £3 15s. His name is also recorded as a supplier of furniture to Nathaniel Ryder, 1st Lord Harrowby for Sandon Hall, Staffordshire. 1773–77. The payments made were £9 11s 6d on 31 July 1773, £2 2s on 23 July 1774, £2 15s 3d on 18 July 1775, £10 2s 3d on 24 July 1776 and £11 on 1 March 1777. The payment of 1773 was for chairs and that of 1777 for chairs for bedrooms and the Little Dressing Room.

His trade label has been found on items of furniture of the 1770s including a mahogany secretaire bookcase [illus. Gilbert (1996), figs 836-837).

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

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