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SHAPLAND & PETTER - BARNSTAPLE


The company was established by Henry Shapland (b. 1823), a cabinet maker by trade. Henry Petter was an accountant who entered into partnership with Mr Shapland. In 1864 they bought the Raleigh Factory in Barnstaple, Devon. Iin 1888 the building burnt down but was immediately replaces by a bigger factory which included many modern inventions.

The Shapland and Petter Cabinet Works in Barnstaple.

 

The two Henrys died within two years of each other - Petter in 1907 and Shapland in 1909. In 1924 Shapland and Petter merged with the Barnstaple Cabinet Company, producing North Devon's biggest industry. During the First World War Shapland's skilled craftsmen turned their hands to wooden propellers for the aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps. After the war, public tastes changed, and hand carved furniture was too expensive for many. Shapland's output now included elegant veneered pieces with smooth Art Deco lines. The company fitted out Pullman carriages and ocean liners and made hand-carved church furniture. The famous England Rugby Captain W. W. Wakefield was appointed Company Director in 1927. Throughout the depression of the late 1920's and early 1930's the company still managed to produce high quality work.

Furniture manufacturing continued until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. After the war came radio cabinets and laboratory and contract furniture, until eventually large quantities of doors were being produced for hospitals, hotels, schools, offices and other buildings.

Shapland and Petter were renowned for excellent design and workmanship.  Much of the work involved intricate leaded glass panels, or inlaid fruitwood designs, like the white bedroom suite shown in the exhibition here. This type of work is typical of Art Nouveau 1895 to 1910, inspired by the fluid shapes of plants and flowers.  Many pieces were made from standard designs. There were hundreds to choose from, and a selection could be seen in local and London showrooms and in catalogues. Although mass-produced, this furniture was well-made by skilled technicians and modern machinery.

Inlaid Oak Writing Desk by Shapland and Petter

43" (109cm) Inlaid Oak Writing Desk by Shapland & Petter c1900

SOLD by Antiquedesks.net

Antique Mahogany Writing Desk by Shapland & Petter

48" (122cm) Mahogany Writing Desk by Shapland & Petter c1900

SOLD by Antiquedesks.net


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