A George II walnut concertina action card table by Benjamin Crook.
Note: The card table retains a paper trade label of Benjamin Crook pasted to the inside of the frieze drawer. The green baize lining is of later date.
Benjamin Crook’s only recorded commission for a set of chairs is for the Duke of Montrose in 1733, despite Crook not being a Freeman at the time. In the following year he was elected a Freeman of the Joiners Company, which allowed him to trade legally under his own name. Although Crook labelled his furniture, as did other contemporary cabinet-makers located around the St. Paul’s Churchyard area in London, such as Giles Grendey and John Belchier, only a handful of items with his label have come to light so far. In 1748, Crook retired. His stock was put up for sale, and his son, also called Benjamin, took over the business at the same premises.
The card table is typical for the period with its elegant cabriole legs with carved knees. The herringbone inlay in the top is very fine. More unusual is the drawer in the frieze, which is original and retains the trade label.
R. W. Symonds rated the table highly for its elegant design, its genuine patination and the label, featuring it three times in his seminal work, English Furniture from Charles II to George II.
Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp. 211-12.
R. W. Symonds, English Furniture from Charles II to George II, 1929, p. 47, fig. 24; p. 182, fig. 139; p. 264, fig. 217.
Connoisseur, December 1931.
Christie Manson & Woods, ‘The Important Collection of Chinese Porcelain and Objects of Art - Stuart Relics and Needlework FINE ENGLISH FURNITURE and Eastern Rugs and Textiles formed by the late Percival D. Griffiths, Esq’, sale catalogue, 10 May 1939, pp. 52-3, lot 202.
Geoffrey Wills, English Furniture 1550-1760, 1971, p. 208.
Christopher Gilbert, A Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, 1996, p. 169, illus. 265.
Percival D. Griffiths, Sandridgebury, Kent, England, until 1939.
Purchased by Mr. Blake for £168 0s 0d.
Private collection, Bedfordshire, England.
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