A rare c. 1880 English mahogany writing desk with slides made by and stamped by the famous firm of "Gillows of Lancaster". The firm was founded in the 18th century by Robert Gillow whose name became synonymous with quality cabinetry for over a century and a half. The desk is stamped "GILLOWS"on the central drawer next to the lock stamped "GILLOWS LANCASTER". A side drawer is stamped "CROFTS & ASSINDER). This desk, by virtue of its markings, was made no earlier than 1875 (when Crofts and Assinder began production), and no later than 1903 (when the company became Waring and Gillows). The desk is in excellent condition and all original with structural integrity and a fine polished finish on all sides. The reverse side has faux drawers with mounts and hardware identical to the front. All the gilt bronze mounts and hardware, including the railing, trim, handles, locks and sabots are original. The left front leg has an old repair that is virtually unnoticeable. The desk is made of choice mahogany with the top leather surround being plum pudding mahogany. The fine tapered legs are both reeded and stop fluted. In an era of increasing mechanization in furniture making, this piece stands out as an outstanding example of custom handmade cabinetry. The piece measures 51"wide x 29.5"high (not including the rail), and 27"deep.