Cabinet Briefing

NEJ Stevenson, bespoke furniture maker and Royal Warrant holder, has recently completed its latest commission to design bespoke display cases for The Ark Gallery at the newly reopened Garden Museum in London.

NEJ Stevenson’s display cabinets have been carefully designed as part of the Garden Museum’s Development Project, in order to house a number of precious artefacts loaned by many of the country’s great museums. The bespoke cabinetry was completed in a style appropriate to the museum’s 17th Century collector, John Tradescant, whose original museum of curiosities inspired the gallery’s concept design by Alec Cobbe.

The cabinetry comprised of a single run of five display cases, each six metres long, and two individual cabinets. One cabinet houses a statue and the other is formed of two glass displays, one on top of the other. NEJ Stevenson crafted the cabinetry using museum grade sheet materials and hardwood, with a hand-applied paint finish.

The company’s precise attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship has delivered an elegant result, in this commission that spanned six months from order to completion.

NEJ Stevenson was selected for this project following its long association with Alec Cobbe, designer of the Ark Gallery at the Garden Museum. The company has a successful background working alongside Alec, and being able to transform his unique visual ideas into practical solutions within a client lead budget and programme framework.

Neil and Alec first worked together on the Masters’ Gallery at Windsor Castle, which was the first step on the way to NEJ Stevenson becoming Royal Warrant Holders.

Celebrating the history and design of gardens, The Garden Museum in Lambeth, London was relaunched in May this year after an 18 month renovation. The building itself is located in the church of St Marys-at-Lambeth, which is the resting place for the 17th Century Plant Hunters John Tradescant, and his son John Tradescant the Younger.

These renowned gardeners collected plants and other curiosities from across the globe, which later became the basis of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The ancient church is now home to a modern space for exhibitions and events, which can now display much more of the unique collection of around 6,000 objects, assembled over 40 years. Designed and made specifically for The Ark Gallery, NEJ Stevenson’s custom-made cabinets house 20 treasurable artefacts and artworks in the Museum’s collection.

“We are delighted to have been chosen for such an interesting project,” said Neil Stevenson, Founder and Managing Director of NEJ Stevenson. “The Garden Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the uniquely British love affair with gardens, and we hope that our work on this project will add to their enjoyment when visiting the Museum.”

NEJ Stevenson specialises in custom made furniture and bespoke architectural joinery. As cabinetmaker to The Queen and Royal Warrant holder, the company has developed a reputation for crafting some of the finest contemporary and heritage furniture available. From individual pieces to entire room interiors, NEJ Stevenson’s furniture can be found within luxurious private residences, historic buildings, places of worship and high-end retail spaces.

In addition to being a Royal Warrant holder, Neil Stevenson is Trustee of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and a Brother and Trustee of the Artworkers Guild. NEJ Stevenson is an Industry Partner of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) and Neil was formerly their Industry Director. He chaired the National Training Board for Furniture and sat on the Board of Proskills (the Sector Skills Council for Process and Manufacturing).


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