A REGENCY MAHOGANY LIBRARY TABLE ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN SYERS
A large and impressive early 19th century mahogany library table attributed to John Syers, the rectangular top inset with a tooled black morocco leather writing surface, with cross-banded borders and protruding rounded corners, the frieze with one deep central drawer flanked by two short drawers, with a conforming simulated long drawer on the opposing side and two short drawers to the reverse, with panelled divides all with original angled brass handles, on circular tapering reeded legs terminating in brass castors.
English, circa 1815
Height: 2 ft 5 ½ in; 75 cm
Height of Kneehole: 2 ft; 60.5 cm
Width: 6 ft 1 ¾ in; 186 cm
Depth: 3 ft 7 ½ in; 110.5 cm
This grand piece of library furniture is one of three known tables made to this design. It can be attributed to John Syers (fl. 1813–1827) of 3 Duffours Place, Broad Street, London. The attribution is based on a table known to have been supplied by Syers to Stephen Tempest (1756–1824) of Broughton Hall, Yorkshire, at a cost of £34 18s in 1813 (Christopher Hussey, English Country Houses, Late Georgian 1800–1840, 1958, p. 94, fig. 165). Broughton was enlarged between 1810 and 1813 by the architect William Atkinson (1774/5 1839), and the library together with the rest of the house was furnished by Gillows.
The other table, of an identical design but with different proportions, came from the collection of the Hon. Lady Mary Bailey of Leeds Castle, Kent (Christopher Claxton- Stevens and Stewart Whittington, '18th Century English Furniture, The Norman Adams Collection', 1983, p. 164). It is possible that the Leeds Castle table is the same illustrated in situ from the collection of the Earls of Jersey at Middleton Park, Oxfordshire, c. 1900, although at this time the central legs were united by a concave-fronted book stretcher. The Middleton Park table was sold from Middleton Park, 28 May - 1 June 1934, lot 1059.