Design Focus: Jubilee Cabinet

In the age of email, social media and instant communication, there’s something quite special about sitting at a writing desk;  receiving a hand written letter or card buoys the spirits and writing one can be just as pleasurable when sat at a beautiful desk.



Our ‘Jubilee Cabinet’ is a fall-front lady’s writing cabinet, designed by Edward Barnsley at the special request of Lord Reilly, for the 1977 Queen’s Silver Jubilee ‘Masterpiece’ exhibition in Earlham Street, London.  This drawing is Edward’s final version of the design, where you can clearly make out all of the distinctive compartments that mark this piece out as a writing desk.




The Jubilee Cabinet is made in specially selected solid English walnut with solid ‘feather’ grained walnut panels.  The ebony and holly inlay is a small but eye catching detail which stands out in dynamic contrast to the walnut panels. The traditional leather writing surface is smooth and durable, just waiting to be put to good use. The Jubilee Cabinet’s interior compartments and shelves are made from oak, with cedar lined drawers. These compartments are a good size to store all the writing equipment one might need, but neatly arranged to allow for organization and ease of use.



The timber for the Jubilee Cabinet had been maturing in our timber sheds for thirty years before being selected for use by foreman Herbert Upton. The Jubilee Cabinet was then crafted by George Taylor, Oscar Dawson & Mark Nicholas, and here you can see Edward Barnsley with the Jubilee Cabinet in the workshop. Seeing the cabinet next to Edward gives a real sense of the size and stature of this beautiful piece.



We originally featured our Jubilee Cabinet on our Instagram page, if you would like to follow the journey of our apprentices, hear more about our heritage and learn the details behind the pieces we make please follow us here.