A pair of George III giltwood and polychrome decorated centre tables.

Each table is decorated in a parquetry pattern simulating different types of marble, with a central tablet. It is possible that this decoration was carried out by Louisa, Countess of Dysart, (1745-1840) in person. Both tables retain a pasted-on paper label with the Dysart family crest and a further later paper label reading ‘repaired by Tiller’.

A photograph taken by Country Life magazine in circa 1920 shows one of the tables in situ in the Green Drawing Room, Ham House, Surrey, England. Inventories from 1844 and 1884 list ‘A Pair of Handsome wood stands with figures’, which might refer to these tables.

The distinctive giltwood base is repeated on various tables with differently shaped tops at Ham House.

Two tables with the same type of giltwood base and square tops were photographed by Country Life, circa 1921, at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England. The sophistication of the giltwood bases and their presence in two houses with no family connection suggest they were not made by the estate cabinet-maker but were bought in, perhaps in both cases with plain tops in order to be decorated as a pastime by the lady of the house.

Literature: Country Life, 3 April 1920, p. 442; one of the tables illustrated in the Green Drawing Room, Ham House.
Christopher Claxton Stevens and Stewart Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture: The Norman Adams Collection, 1983, pp. 337-8.


  • Provenance

    Lionel Tollemache, 5th Earl of Dysart, Ham House, Surrey, England.
    By descent until 1939.
    Moved to Stobo Castle, Scotland, until 1972.
    Norman Adams Ltd., London, England.
    Private collection, France.


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