(bc. 1715; d ?London, Aug 1778). English cabinetmaker and upholsterer. Little is known about him before 1751, when he formed a partnership with William Vile, but it is assumed that he was the John Cobb apprenticed in 1729 to Tim Money (fl 1724-59), a Norwich upholsterer. When Vile retired in 1764, Cobb carried on in business with the assistance of his foreman, Samuel Reynolds (fl 1751-85). He made furniture to very high standards and earned a reputation for exquisite marquetry: Hester Thrale, the writer and friend of Dr. Johnson, compared the inlaid floors at Sceaux, France, to ‘the most high prized Cabinet which Mr Cobb can produce to captivate the Eyes of his Customers’. Inlay in tropical woods, particularly satinwood, was an important element of Neo-classical furniture. In 1772-4 Cobb produced an ‘Extra neat Inlaid Commode’ and two stands en suite for Paul Methuen at Corsham Court, Wilts, which survive in situ. In 1772 he was implicated in the smuggling of furniture from France. His most extensive work was for the 6th Earl of Coventry at Croome Court, Worcs, between 1765 and 1773. This included a large mahogany wardrobe and extensive seating in the new Neo-classical style.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.