Mayhew and Ince 1736 – 1811
In 1762 Mayhew and Ince published the “Universal System of Household Furniture” dedicated to the Duke of Marlborough. It was a folio of drawings and descriptions in both English and French that was produced in direct competition to their biggest trade competitor Thomas Chippendale. Chippendale’s “The Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director” (which Ince had been a subscriber to) had first been published in 1754 and circulated around the country to the mainly aristocratic subscribers. Fairly quickly it became the industry standard amongst regional and colonial cabinet makers. It established Chippendale’s name, not only as a manufacturer of furniture but possibly the first interior designer, advising his noble clients on their overall project, from the colour of their walls to their soft furnishings. Mayhew and Ince quickly realised the commercial benefits of producing such a body of work and quickly followed suit. Mayhew and Ince’s style was far more classical than that of Thomas Chippendale with elaborate use of inlaid woods and marquetry. They worked closely with Robert Adam, most notably for Sir John Whitwell at Audley end in 1767, for the Duchess of Northumberland in 1771, for the Earl of Kerry in 1771 and, most importantly for the Duchess of Manchester in 1775 creating the Kimbolton Cabinet.