NOTES ON THE ARTWORK
Over ten years elapsed between Gibbons taking his seventh and eight apprentice – John Williams (son of Thomas of the parish of St Giles in the Fields, a tobacconist, deceased) – on 5 June 1695. Previously his new apprentices had arrived on a two to three year basis. With Gibbons’ apprentices in all likelihood remaining in his workshop as journeymen after they had finished their indentures (David Esterly notes that except one, none proceeded to an independent career), it is possible that Gibbons by the late 1680s and early 1690s may have developed a team strong enough to carry our the workload of his busy and successful operations.
Further reading: David Esterly, ‘Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving’, V&A Publications, 1998, pgs 174-6.