The partnership of James Plucknett and Frederick Collier operated from a showroom in Leamington Spa and workshops in Warwick.
The firm advertised in various trade directories between 1872-80 as ‘manufacturers of rich carved furniture in the peculiar styles characteristic of the Gothic, Tudor and Elizabethan ages’ and gained many commissions from well-heeled local families.
Perhaps Collier & Plucknett’s best-known commission was for Tyntesfield, the celebrated Victorian mansion in Wraxall, north Somerset, re-modelled for William Gibbs (1790-1875) that is now owned by the National Trust.
The Aesthetic movement oak suite offered by Dreweatts (25% buyer’s premium) in Newbury on May 12 was firmly part of the furnishings of Berwick House, Shropshire.
As well as the bed, it comprises a breakfront wardrobe, a breakfront compactum, a washstand with Japonisme tiles, a writing table with glazed superstructure and an overmantel – all with the painted and gilt panels throughout. Several elements carry a brass maker’s label.
The estimate for the full suite of £2000-3000 was certainly on the low side – perhaps the price of just one of the elements. In fact, bidding reached a more impressive £48,000.