A highly important pair of George I giltwood side tables designed by William Kent and attributed to Benjamin Goodison The tables have replaced 18th century ‘Siena Marble’ tops and the pendent carved decoration is of later date. The tables were once part of a group of tables of at least two different sizes, the tables offered being the smaller version. A pair of tables of identical size is now in the collection at Chatsworth in Derbyshire, after being moved from Devonshire House prior to its demolition in 1924. Devonshire House was the London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and the centre of London society in the 18th century. The celebrated Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, entertained there on a grand scale. Fine tables such as these would have complemented the house’s grand interiors. Two photographs taken by Country Life magazine at Devonshire House before its demolition record one of the tables in the suite, together with a longer version in the second image. Slight variations in carved detail indicate that the tables recorded by Country Life are different from the tables at Chatsworth, but belong to the same set.
Literature: John Vardy, ‘Some Designs of Mr. Inigo Jones and Mr. Wm. Kent’, 1744, pl. 41. John Cornforth, ‘Devonshire House, London’, ‘Country Life’, 13 November 1980, pp. 1750-53.
Devonshire House, London, England; Private collection, New York, USA.
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