'Art Furnishers', founded with the partnership of F.G. Collinson and G.J. Lock, former employees of Jackson and Graham. Designers employed by the firm included T.E. Collcutt, the architect of their premises; E.W. Godwin, who was paid a retainer to produce exclusive designs for the company from 1872 to 1874, H.W. Batley and Stephen Webb. They made furniture for the new Law Courts to designs by G.E. Street, along with Gillows and Holland and Sons, and began decoration of the Savoy Theatre in 1881. Jackson and Graham was taken over in 1885, at the time when the firm had moved to Oxford Street and begun to focus on expensive commissions for grandiose London houses. The change of direction was not a success, and the firm was taken over by Gillows in 1897.
The firm of Collinson and Lock was established in London in the third quarter of the 19th century and quickly achieved both commercial success and a leading position in the field of design. In 1871 the firm issued an impressive illustrated catalogue of 'Artistic furniture', with plates by J. Moyar Smith, assistant to Christopher Dresser, and in 1873 was trading from extensive newly built premises in St Bride Street. The firm continued to produce very high quality items of furniture and soon began to experiment with new materials and designs, becoming especially renowned for their distinctive combinations of rosewood and ivory and their intricate Italianate arabesques, traditional figures and scrolling foliage. This form of decoration clearly points toward the involvement of Stephen Webb, Collinson and Locks chief designer who was later appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. E.W.Godwin was their most important designer and so advanced were his designs in the Japanese style that his worked was plagiarized by many other furniture makers of the period usually in mis-proportioned manner or of inferior quality.
Researched and written by Tony Geering.