A Very Good Quality c.1890 Mahogany Shop Counter Display Cabinet by H.Mills Shop Fitter, London

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Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880-1900
Height: 30.25 inches
Width: 26.75 inches
Depth: 23.75 inches (at maximum)

The heavy quality glazed five sided display cabinet with panelled & mirrored rear door under a moulded cornice, the whole with a further mirrored base having a velvet surround, the solid mahogany carcass enclosing two adjustable fitted glass shelves, with ivorine makers plaque to the lower moulded plinth base reading ‘H.Mills - Shop Fitter… ?? Street London E8?’ survives from an English shop front during the late nineteenth century.

The original heavy plate mirror glass has a good amount of foxing but nothing of concern and decoratively she is splendid. There is a square of discolouration to the reverse where there was obviously a trade sign placed on it which has since been removed so the mahogany to this small section is of a different colour. The carcass in general has only a little movement, with one or two small hairline cracks. The mahogany is of a very good quality and has a super rich colour whilst the makers trade label is worn but three quarters of it is still decipherable. The two thick glass shelves are possibly later replacements but are good quality, with some losses to their corners. Overall the cabinet would be described as good to very good condition.

H.Mills had a workshop in York Road in Northampton as well as in London, and became H.Mills & Sons Ltd later in their existence. This is one of their earlier pieces and would have been for a tobacconist or perhaps a gentleman’s tailors.

Of a desirable size and of serious quality, this is shop display at its pinnacle.

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