History and Heritage

The Sainsbury family antiques and cabinet-making business was established in Dorset in 1918 by Daniel Sainsbury, Jonathan Sainsbury’s great-grandfather. Clarence Sainsbury, Jonathan’s grandfather, then took over the running of the business, followed by Thomas Sainsbury, Jonathan’s father. Thomas Sainsbury is a well-known and highly respected antiques and fine arts expert, so Jonathan Sainsbury grew up immersed in that world. By the time he was eight, Jonathan Sainsbury knew all about Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite. It was an inherited love of furniture, architecture and antiques that led Jonathan to later join the family firm.

Over the years, Jonathan was increasingly asked by clients to find pieces that were extremely hard if not impossible to come by, many pieces having been destroyed (often in fires or discarded by those who didn’t appreciate what they had), or held in family trusts. Jonathan Sainsbury realised that there was a market for making absolutely stunning, historically accurate copies to the same high standard as the great makers of the past.

We take inspiration from many of the great 18th and 19th century designers and architects such as William Kent, Thomas Hope, Thomas Chippendale, Robert Adam, Matthias Lock and George Hepplewhite.

How We Work

Our approach is rooted in our desire to create furniture of unsurpassed quality that exceeds our client’s expectations. Designing and making furniture is a creative process and because of this we like to remain as adaptable as possible to achieve the best results. We have an extensive archive of designs and finishes so we can develop our own designs based on our discussions with you or we can work with your designs.

Our approach is always personal and discreet; we understand that some of our clients value their anonymity. As you can see from our testimonials, it is of utmost importance to us that the client is happy with the finished project and the service that we offer.

The Workshop

The workshop is the creative heart of our business dedicated to maintaining the high quality craftsmanship of our furniture. We employ a highly skilled team of craftspeople, most of whom have worked here for many years, including furniture designers, carvers, polishers and gilders. (One of our most valued craftsmen retired recently after 60 years of working for the family business!). Almost all the tools and processes are the same as craftsmen would have employed in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the exception of electricity that enables us to work for longer and power saws and lathes.

Our approach is always personal and discreet; we understand that some of our clients value their anonymity. As you can see from our testimonials, it is of utmost importance to us that the client is happy with the finished project and the service that we offer.