Founded in 1703 by Robert Gillow, the august Gillow firm operated successfully as a family-owned business well into the 19th century. Originally operating from Lancaster, England, Gillow was especially noted for their quality of workmanship and innovative designs. No other firm in the country had managed to gain as far reaching and prestigious a level of patronage than the Gillow firm, primarily due to the quality and classic nature of their furnishings. The Gillow firm was especially popular with the English nobility and with powerful religious figures throughout the country. Clients included the Earls of Wilton, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Surrey and the Archbishop of York. Today, Gillow furnishings are held in the highest esteem and prized now more than ever for their unprecedented quality and style.
The distinguished Liverpool cabinet makers, S. J. Waring were entrusted to refurbish the Judges Lodgings for Queen Victoria during her visit to Liverpool when she opened the Liverpool International Exhibition in May, 1886, and merged with Gillow to complete this commission. Afterwards, this new company outfitted luxury yachts and ocean liners, including the Queen Mary (1934) and Queen Elizabeth (1946). It made aircraft parts during both world wars. The Waring and Gillow’s brand of furniture is now owned by the Allders of Croydon department store near London.