News-Antique.com - Aug 13,2008 - George Seddon was the eighth child of John Seddon. His father apprenticed him to George Clemaphon of Cripplegate to learn cabinet making.
In the early 1750s he was sufficiently successful to acquire London House, which he converted into England’s first big furniture store It consisted of extensive workshops, where furniture was made, and showrooms to display the finished products. London House had formerly been a palace of the Bishops of London. The paneled state-rooms were ideal for the display of fashionable furniture; and the chapel and library made convenient workshops. Seddon was the biggest furniture maker of his time.
His workshop there was described by London visitor Sophie V. La Roche in 1786:
"We drove first to Mr. Seddon's, a cabinet-maker,...He employs four hundred apprentices on any work connected with the making of household furniture joiners, carvers, gilders, mirror-workers, upholsterers, girdlers who mould the bronze into graceful patterns and locksmiths. All these are housed in a building with six wings. In the basement mirrors are cast and cut. Some other department contains nothing but chairs, sofas, and stools of every description, some quite simple, others exquisitely carved and made of all varieties of wood, and one large room is full up with all the finished articles in this line, while others are occupied by writing-tables, cupboards, chest of drawers, charmingly fashioned desks, chests, both large and small, work- and toilet-tables in all manner of wood and patterns, from the simplest and cheapest to the most elegant and expensive."
George Seddon's own work still turns up at auctions. A suite of satin wood chairs designed by him and made by his company is owned by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Charles IV, King of Spain from 1788 to 1808, owned a cabinet which Seddon made in 1793 to a design by William Chambers. The picture on the right is of a Satinwood Secretaire Cabinet, in original condition from about 1790, attributed to George Seddon.
Seddon suffered three disastrous fires at London House. At the time of the first fire in 1768 he had unfortunately omitted to pay his annual insurance premium and had to meet the losses from his own pocket. During the third fire in 1790 his youngest daughter was burnt to death.The firm finally closed in 1868.
This fabulous dresser is made of solid Cuban mahogany and still retains its original hardware. Conserved and preserved over two centuries, the original patina is exceptional. The wide old growth timbers that were personally selected just don't exist anymore. The bracket feet, dovetails, hand wrought nails and even the glides for the drawers all confirm that this was the work of a master. Stamp of G. W. Seddon is on the top drawer to the left of the lock. Still has two keys