Rent tables of this type, though rare, were produced by leading workshops in England from the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century.
As a functional piece of furniture its use was to collect rent, which was deposited in the central well in the top. The drawers with their inlaid letter labels contained the corresponding paperwork to individual tenants.
The landowner could sit at the table and rotate the centrally revolving top into the correct drawer position with ease without having to get up from his seat in front of the lockable cupboard door, behind which was often a drink to close a deal.
Note: The faded green leather insert and the ornate brass swan-neck handles are 18th century replacements. The inlaid oval engraved plaques above the keyhole of each drawer are ivorine replacements.
Collection of Tom Devenish, New York, USA.
Private collection, USA.
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