Hugh Birkett (Ex-Oliver Morel) Arts & Crafts Cotswold School Dressing Table 1955


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An Arts & Crafts Cotswold School dressing table by Hugh Birkett (ex-Oliver Morel) made in 1955. A quite exceptional item with exquisite attention to detail, made in every way to the standard you would expect of this leading Cotswold School maker. A very well proportioned and attractive design. Made to a special commission for Geoffrey H. Alpe (1908-2008), former Managing Director of Parker Knoll. This dressing table was made over 60 years ago and is still as sound and stylish and it was then, it treated with care it will last several more lifetimes, featuring:
  • 5 drawers (made with solid drawer carcasses joined with hand-cut lap and through dovetails and solid bases)
  • Traditional through tenons exposed on the top and sides
  • Exposed dovetails on the corners
  • Triptych mirror with central swing mirror
  • Handmade shaped handles
  • 2 shaped and carved supports joined by a stretcher with a through tenon


Approximate dimensions:
  • overall height 131 cm (4 feet 3 and a half inches)
  • base height 72 cm (2 feet 4 and a quarter inches)
  • overall width 109 cm (3 feet 6 and three quarters inches)
  • overall depth 49 cm (1 foot 7 and a quarter inches)
If you need a very exact dimension, or one we haven't included, feel free to contact us and we will measure it for you




Made to a special commission for Geoffrey H. Alpe (1908-2008), former Managing Director of Parker Knoll. Signed and dated underneath the central drawer


Very good sound condition with tight joints, smoothly sliding and snugly fitting drawers, clean mirror and good colour. Some minor marks and colour variation on the top. If you wish to have further specific photographs or talk to us for a more detailed condition report then please do not hesitate to contact us

About Hugh Birkett

Hugh Birkett (Ex-Oliver Morel Who Trained with Edward Barnsley at His Famous Workshop at Froxfield) (1919 to 2002): A very highly respected furniture maker and master craftsman who was heavily influenced by the work of Ernest Gimson, Romney Green and Edward Barnsley. He trained with one of the foremost former Edward Barnsley craftsmen, Oliver Morel before he established his own workshop in 1949 in Solihull and then in 1966 moved to Moreton-in-Marsh in. He made exceptional quality furniture in the tradition of the Arts & Crafts Cotswold School and was a member of the Red Rose Guild of Craftsmen, The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society and The Crafts Centre of Great Britain

About Arts & Crafts Cotswold School Furniture

The Cotswold School was a development of the Arts and Craft Movement started largely by Ernest Gimson and the brothers Sidney and Ernest Barnsley. The furniture is instantly recognisable with its simple lines, attention to the finest of details, and use of beautiful materials. Cotswold School designs were crafted from local materials using traditional tools and techniques and with decorative details derived largely from utilitarian elements: exposed joinery, unusual panels, interesting pulls and latches crafted either from wood or from metal using traditional smithing techniques, and close attention to form as well as to wood grain and pattern. Where decorative details were added they generally took the form of traditional embellishment such as exposed joints, chamfered edges and chip carved edge details.The style was embraced and developed by other designers and craftsmen including Gordon Russell, Stanley Webb Davies in Cumbria, Sid Barnsley's son Edward, Arthur Romney Green in Hampshire, Robin Nance in St Ives and Ambrose Heal are a handful of such men out of many. The best developed their own style within the established tradition


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