Luxury Design, Past & Present
An Important Regency Period Library Table Made After Designs by Thomas Hope and Identical to a Pair of Tables at Beechwood Park and Another Potentially From Malahide in Ireland
A Regency oak drum table, the circular leather-inset top with ebony stringing above two deep, twoshallow and four dummy frieze drawers with the original leopard-head ring handles, the solid triform base with bold ebonized lion’s paw feet and castors and inlaid in holly with classical wreaths encircling paterae, English, c1815.
This table, or monopedium as described by the connoisseur and designer Thomas Hope, is made in oak inlaid with ebony. On stylistic grounds it would be logical to date it to around 1815 but a recent discovery has led us to believe that the table might well have been made a little earlier in around 1810. This discovery involves a pair of library tables of identical design to this one which were photographed in situ at Beechwood Park, Hertfordshire, by Country Life on the 19th of November 1938
Beechwood Park, Hertfordshire, by Country Life on the 19th of November 1938.
In the article, Arthur Oswald suggested that the regency library at Beechwood was built around 1810 and, although no architect or furniture maker can be definitively connected with the commission, he suggested that Marsh and Tatham might well have been responsible.
The Beechwood tables are identical to ours in every respect apart from the position of the escutcheons on the drawers-the Beechwood examples overlap the stringing for some reason whereas those on our table sit within the stringing as would be expected. Our tables and the Beechwood one share the same ebony inlay, ebonised moulding on the base of the plinth and identical lion’s head handles.
On the 4th of September 1980, Country Life carried an advert for the great dealer Temple Williams-a well-known specialist in regency furniture-in which he illustrated another table of identical design. The advert suggests that the table might have come from Malahide in Ireland-another great country house. What is interesting about this advert is that the table’s measurements are given and the diameter of the top, at 4ft, is exactly the same as ours.
This suggests that our table is part of a very small and important group of library tables employing the same inlay that must have been executed for a group of elite customers at the beginning of the 19th century. We are delighted to be able to offer this superb table to the next generation of connoisseur collectors.
Lymington SO41 9BB