George Brookshaw (1751 – 1823)

Secretaire commode c1785 – 90

Painted mahogany and pine, gilt mahogany and composition mouldings, 97 x 187.5 x 62.5cm
Accession Number LL4322

George Brookshaw - Secretaire commode

Originally from Birmingham, George Brookshaw set up a cabinet-making business in London in 1777. His workshop dealt almost exclusively in painted furniture, typically with closely observed floral decoration and figurative medallions adapted from engravings, chiefly after Angelica Kauffman.

The medallions on this piece (all derived from Kauffman) represent ‘Una and the Lion’ (on top), and the lovers ‘Damon and Musidora’ and ‘Paris and Oenone’.

Brookshaw also operated as a teacher of flower painting (offering tuition to ‘Ladies of fashion’), and in the 1790s he abandoned his furniture practice in favour of publishing drawing manuals and a lavishly illustrated work on fruit growing, the ‘Pomona Britannica’.