Industry and Ingenuity:The Partnership of William Ince and John Mayhew by Hugh Roberts and Charles Cator
The publication date of this highly-anticipated book – by me anyway – has been changed to 8th December 2022 in the UK. There will be 500 plus photos of their furniture and all family descendants will be delighted to see that in the blurb the firm’s pre-eminent importance is noted. The partners' clientele was probably larger, and, arguably their work was more influential over a longer period, than most other leading metropolitan makers – even, perhaps, than that of their older contemporary, the celebrated Thomas Chippendale.
I have just pre-ordered a copy and am especially looking forward to reading the sections on Workshop Management and ‘House Style’ and Stylistic Development. Both authors have been enthusiastic about Ince & Mayhew for many years and have been responsible for raising the profile of the firm in the antiques world. Their research in all sort of different archives has led them to uncover much new evidence about the business and its influence within cabinetmaking circles.
Other aficianados will recognise that the title Industry and Ingenuity comes from the preface of the Universal System of Household Furniture in which they praise the Duke of Marlborough for being ever willing to promote and encourage Industry & Ingenuity.
I am sorry I have not been keeping up to date with recent sales of the firm’s furniture, but I have become engrossed with my Irish ancestors and am off to the gathering of Clan Shaughnessy in Galway in mid May!
Sarah Ingle is the great great great great grand-daughter of William Ince and has been researching her family history for a number of years. She thoroughly enjoyed the detective work involved in tracing William’s lineage.