A George III giltwood side table by John Linnell with a roman specimen marble top . The giltwood base closely follows two design drawings by John Linnell, dated 1765, which are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. As the Linnells never published their designs, the table can therefore be firmly attributed to John Linnell. Specimen marble tops were the ultimate souvenir from the Grand Tour, an extended educational trip to the antique cities of Europe. Most marble tops, including this one, were produced in Rome from the 1750s onwards to exhibit different types of marble. They were brought back to England and given suitable bases, often giltwood. In this case, the base was designed by John Linnell, with the medallion of Apollo in the centre and draped with laurel leaves. Apollo, god of the arts and intellectual pursuits, was chosen to reflect the education and knowledge of the patron commissioning the table. The pendent side carvings and gadrooned toes are of later date.
Literature: Helena Hayward and Pat Kirkham, ‘William and John Linnell, Eighteenth Century London Furniture Makers’, vol. II, 1980, illus. 209 & 215. Illustrated: Christopher Hussey, ‘Donnington Grove, Berkshire, I’, Country Life, 18 December 1958, p. 590, illus. 6. Country Life, 14 March 2002, illus. 1.
The Hon. Mrs. Daisy Fellowes, Donnington Grove, Berkshire, England; Partridge Fine Arts, London, England; Private collection, New York, USA.
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