The Frederick Parker Lectures

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Date / time: 15 March, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Furniture Makers Hall

The Frederick Parker Lectures

The Frederick Parker Collection is a unique and outstanding educational resource spanning over 300 years of British furniture making and design, from 1660 to the present day. The Collection comprises over 200 chairs, together with an archive of related historical documents and artefacts and became part of the Furniture Makers’ Company in 2013.

We are delighted that we have two very interesting speakers for the Annual Lectures this year:

Andrew Cox-Whittaker – Wright & Elwick and the Wakefield Cabinet Trade

Richard Wright and Edward Elwick established themselves as cabinet makers and upholsterers in Wakefield in 1747. In various partnerships over more than fifty years they supplied many of the grandest houses in the north of England. They have been called Yorkshire’s answer to Gillows of Lancaster, but in spite of making some very distinctive furniture, few people have heard of them.What do we really know about them and how did such a provincial firm find itself catering for the needs of so many important and wealthy clients?

Andrew Cox-Whittaker is a second generation antiques dealer. He has worked with Wilkinson’s auctioneers for nearly twenty years and with T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration for the last thirteen. He is on the executive committee of the Chippendale Society and has a keen interest in regional furniture studies. His research into Wakefield furniture has been supported with a Regional Furniture Society bursary.

Richard Williams – The Furniture-making Dream and My Three Decades of Reality

Richard will talk about his experiences of being lulled by the romantic ideals of fine craftsmanship, and how he then faced the challenges of achieving commercial success.Richard opened his workshop in 1990 and it has grown steadily since into one of the great success stories of British bespoke furniture making. In 2010 his team moved into a beautiful barn conversion at Beaconsfield and currently numbers eleven, including four craftsmen, two trainees and an apprentice. Richard still handles all aspects of creative design himself. He is a liveryman of the Furniture Makers’ Company and chairs the Bespoke Guild Mark Committee. He has lectured in many colleges around the UK and in the US.

The lectures will be followed by a sparkling wine reception and an optional three course dinner with wine, which will be an excellent opportunity to meet other supporters of the Frederick Parker Collection and members of the Company. Guests are very welcome to attend!

Places for this popular event are limited so please reply as soon as possible using the attached application form. Proceeds from the evening will go to support the Collection.

For more information and to book a place, go to: or email Sally Kent: