Blue John and Rosewood Table attributed to Gillows

  • This English table is an especially fine example of 19th-century Blue John furniture
  • The Blue John at its center is an exceptional example of this rare mineral
  • Almost certainly crafted by Gillows, the rosewood base beautifully frames the stone
  • Such pieces are rarely found outside of the great British aristocratic estates
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-1650

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A one-of-a-kind masterpiece, this English table is an especially fine example of 19th-century Blue John furniture. The star of the table is undoubtedly the slab of Derbyshire Blue John set at its center. This rare and highly coveted mineral is beloved for its stunning natural patterns and vibrant hues, which radiate outwards in bands of deep golden yellows, rich purples and whites. This example is especially golden in color, making it all the rarer and more desirable for the rich contrast of its layers. 

Native to England, Blue John was beloved by the British elite during the 18th and 19th centuries, and thus the stone was integrated into both the architecture and decor of the great British estates. However, due to its popularity, the largest veins of Blue John had disappeared by the mid-19th century, and only a small amount of the stone remains today. Due to its scarcity, most Blue John furniture merely feature inset veneers of smaller specimens of the stone. By contrast, this table features a whole, intact slab of Blue John, and thus represents some of the last and largest ornamental wares created of such grand size and proportion. Such pieces are rarely found outside of the great English aristocratic estates.

The carved rosewood base of the table is the perfect setting for the mineral, and it was almost certainly crafted by the famed Gillows of Lancaster and London. The understated neoclassical design of the table showcases the unique qualities for which Blue John is so loved, from its distinctive radiating structure to its rich shades of purple and gold.

Considering the quality of this table, it was almost certainly an important commission for one of these great English estates. Today, it stands as a stunning example of both Victorian artistry and the natural beauty of this rare stone.

Circa 1840

24" diameter x 30" high
Blue John and Rosewood Table attributed to Gillows
Maker: Gillows
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Occasional Tables/Étagères
Depth: 24.0 Inches
Width: 24.0 Inches
Height: 29.75 Inches
Style: Victorian

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