GAP IN THE MARKET

1979

Christopher, with his Sotheby’s and Mallet experience, sees a gap in the market for elegant painted furniture to complement the antique. He borrows fifty pounds from his uncle Dom to buy a workmate bench, and sets up in Marlow Workshops in the East End of London.

GAP IN THE MARKET

1979

Christopher, with his Sotheby’s and Mallet experience, sees a gap in the market for elegant painted furniture to complement the antique. He borrows fifty pounds from his uncle Dom to buy a workmate bench, and sets up in Marlow Workshops in the East End of London.

Shoreditch

Early 80's

A far cry from the trendy triangle of today, Shoreditch is an epicentre of UK cabinet making. Carving, turning, and upholstery all have long-standing local traditions. Christopher speeds around in his van collecting the separate elements and assembles them in his 10 x 15ft garret workshop. In winter, any off-cuts find their way into a life-saving fireplace.

Shoreditch

Early 80's

A far cry from the trendy triangle of today, Shoreditch is an epicentre of UK cabinet making. Carving, turning, and upholstery all have long-standing local traditions. Christopher speeds around in his van collecting the separate elements and assembles them in his 10 x 15ft garret workshop. In winter, any off-cuts find their way into a life-saving fireplace.

ALICE JOINS THE FAMILY

1983

Christopher’s mother cuts out a newspaper advert for a specialist painter named Alice Hall, then working at Colefax and Fowler. Alice joins the business, unaware that her new boss is also her future husband!

ALICE'S WEBSITE

ALICE JOINS THE FAMILY

1983

Christopher’s mother cuts out a newspaper advert for a specialist painter named Alice Hall, then working at Colefax and Fowler. Alice joins the business, unaware that her new boss is also her future husband!

ALICE'S WEBSITE

PAINTED RANGE SUCCESS

Mid-80's

The painted range has great success. In these swashbuckling years, Christopher Clark pieces and commissions find their way into the houses of the great and the good, from Cilla Black to George Michael.

PAINTED RANGE SUCCESS

Mid-80's

The painted range has great success. In these swashbuckling years, Christopher Clark pieces and commissions find their way into the houses of the great and the good, from Cilla Black to George Michael.

The Big Bang

27th October 1986

At the behest of Margaret Thatcher, the London Stock Exchange is deregulated and screen-based trading replaces old-school shouting. It’s the beginning of ‘the City’ as the global financial centre we know today. Rents in adjoining areas shoot up overnight and cause a mass exodus of local tradespeople. Many move north or to East Anglia, with its strong tradition of cabinet making.

The Big Bang

27th October 1986

At the behest of Margaret Thatcher, the London Stock Exchange is deregulated and screen-based trading replaces old-school shouting. It’s the beginning of ‘the City’ as the global financial centre we know today. Rents in adjoining areas shoot up overnight and cause a mass exodus of local tradespeople. Many move north or to East Anglia, with its strong tradition of cabinet making.

Norfolk-bound

1988

Christopher moves his family and the workshops to West Norfolk, taking advantage of cheap rents and easy access to projects in London. By this time Christopher is no longer making the furniture, but building a team of talented craftspeople.

Norfolk-bound

1988

Christopher moves his family and the workshops to West Norfolk, taking advantage of cheap rents and easy access to projects in London. By this time Christopher is no longer making the furniture, but building a team of talented craftspeople.

John Vince

1989

John Vince, previously a handy-man on a local estate, joins as a cabinet maker. One day he makes an impressive sketch and Christopher asks if he can draw. To everyone’s astonishment, John reveals he is a fully trained draughtsman. For the next twelve years, he produces thousands of beautiful, classically proportioned pencil drawings (on average three per day). As bespoke orders increase, John becomes the most important part of the business. Walt Disney tries to recruit him to draw castles, but he doesn’t fancy life in California.

John Vince

1989

John Vince, previously a handy-man on a local estate, joins as a cabinet maker. One day he makes an impressive sketch and Christopher asks if he can draw. To everyone’s astonishment, John reveals he is a fully trained draughtsman. For the next twelve years, he produces thousands of beautiful, classically proportioned pencil drawings (on average three per day). As bespoke orders increase, John becomes the most important part of the business. Walt Disney tries to recruit him to draw castles, but he doesn’t fancy life in California.

Disaster Strikes

1989

Following the disastrous fire at Uppark House (17th C), Christopher Clark is commissioned to replace several key pieces of furniture as part of the meticulous period restoration.

Disaster Strikes

1989

Following the disastrous fire at Uppark House (17th C), Christopher Clark is commissioned to replace several key pieces of furniture as part of the meticulous period restoration.

Julie Harvey

Mid-90's

Painted furniture goes out of fashion and Alice shifts her focus to her own specialist painting practice. She passes responsibility for furniture finishing to her talented 20 year-old apprentice, Julie Harvey, who heads up the department to this day.

Julie Harvey

Mid-90's

Painted furniture goes out of fashion and Alice shifts her focus to her own specialist painting practice. She passes responsibility for furniture finishing to her talented 20 year-old apprentice, Julie Harvey, who heads up the department to this day.

Trade is king

2000's

Clients are now 95% trade. Furniture for international hotel projects takes centre stage, including a direction commission for The Ritz. The workforce grows to its current level of around 20.

Trade is king

2000's

Clients are now 95% trade. Furniture for international hotel projects takes centre stage, including a direction commission for The Ritz. The workforce grows to its current level of around 20.

Loss of a friend

2001

John Vince passes away. He has chosen not to tell people he is unwell and comes to work even on the day he dies.

Loss of a friend

2001

John Vince passes away. He has chosen not to tell people he is unwell and comes to work even on the day he dies.

Masters Marquetry

2007

Sky Sports directly commissions a table top with an inlaid emblem for their Masters golf coverage, which they use for several years.

Masters Marquetry

2007

Sky Sports directly commissions a table top with an inlaid emblem for their Masters golf coverage, which they use for several years.

Business as usual

2007-2019

Christopher Clark continues to work for trade clients for all the top projects on the go, with private residential in focus.

Business as usual

2007-2019

Christopher Clark continues to work for trade clients for all the top projects on the go, with private residential in focus.

The Next Generation

2019

Christopher Clark celebrates its 40th Birthday! And Christopher’s son Tom joins the business to help a bit with the next forty.

The Next Generation

2019

Christopher Clark celebrates its 40th Birthday! And Christopher’s son Tom joins the business to help a bit with the next forty.