William IV Irish Rosewood Library Table By Williams & Gibton
The firm of Mack, Williams and Gibton was formed around 1812, but its history can be traced to the latter part of the 18th century, when John Mack established a cabinet-making business in Abbey Street, Dublin. First recorded in 1784, Mack continued to trade alone from Abbey Street until 1800 and in 1801 placed an advertisement in The Dublin Evening Post. About this time he was joined by another cabinet-maker, Robert Gibton, who had established his own business a few years earlier, trading at first from Aungier Street, where he is recorded between 1790 and 1796, and afterwards from Stephen Street where he is recorded in 1800. Trade directories reveal that in addition to cabinet-making, Gibton also worked as an auctioneer, while his trade label, a copy of which survives on a deed box in the National Museum, Dublin, indicates that he was likewise a maker and seller of trunks, portmanteaus, gun cases and musical instrument cases. The partnership of Mack and Gibton flourished. By 1803 the business had moved to larger premises in Stafford Street, and in 1805 the partnership was formalized. The following year Mack and Gibton received the ultimate accolade, being appointed ‘Upholsterers & Cabinet Makers to his Majesty, His Excellency the Lord Lieutentant, and His Majesty’s Board of works.’ In 1812 Robert Gibton died and was succeeded by his son William Gibton ( 1789-1842 ). At the same time, a former apprentice, Zachariah Williams, who had married Robert Gibton’s daughter, joined the management, thus creating the new partnership of Mack, Williams and Gibton. Under this name the firm enjoyed unparalleled success. Mack, Williams and Gibton retained its Royal Warrant for many years, supplying and restoring furniture for some of the most important public buildings in Ireland, including the Four Courts, the War Office, the Barracks Office, Dublin Castle, the Chapel Royal, and the Treasury and Viceregal Lodge. At the same time the firm undertook commissions for several major Irish country houses, such as Ballynegall, Co. Westmeath, Oakley Park Co. Meath, and Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. Following the death of John Mack in 1829, the firm continued to trade under the names of the surviving partners, Williams and Gibton, and in 1844, two years after the death of William Gibton, it again changed its name to Williams and Sons, finally ceasing business in 1852.