William IV Mahogany Extension Dining Table
Johnstone, Jupe & Co., circa 1835
The segmented eight-part circular top turning radially and opening to accept two different sized groups of eight leaves, all with metal tips, allowing the table to extend from its original form to two different larger sizes, the center brass circular medallion engraved JUPE'S PATENT and stamped JOHNSTONE JUPE & Co./NEW BOND ST./LONDON 8674, one leaf numbered No. I, also stamped 8674, the leaves in a mahogany leaf-cabinet, the remaining leaves stamped with consecutive numbers, the top of the leaf-cabinet door stamped JOHNSTONE JUPE & Co./NEW BOND ST./LONDON 8247. Height 28 inches (71.1 cm), diameter closed 67 inches (1.7 m), diameter extended 6 feet 10 inches (2.8 m), diameter fully extended 8 feet 2 inches (2.49 m).
The London furniture-maker (described contemporaneously as an upholder or upholsterer) Robert Jupe submitted a permit for a patent for the design of An Improved Expanding Table (no. 6788) on March 11, 1835. The patent was 'to construct an expanding table, that the sections which compose the surface of the original or unexpanded table may be caused to diverge from a common centre, so that the table may be enlarged or expanded by inserting leaves or pieces in the openings or spaces caused by the divergence of the sections from the common centre.' Jupe was granted the patent on September 11, 1835, and began making tables with John Johnstone of 67 New Bond Street. The mechanism for the present example contains a brass boss to the central mechanism engraved JUPES PATENT. Each table was made to 'accommodate itself to the wants of society' in an ingenious feat of engineering and mechanics that allowed for two different sizes of leaves to be inserted. Inevitably, such a clever invention was almost immediately imitated by others. This resulted in a 'Novelty. Infringement.' case, Jupe versus Pratt, September 6, 1836, where 'Robert Jupe's patent for an expanding table, - (was) sustained as a novel invention.' In 1840, Jupe left to form his own company and relocated to 47 Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square.
The present table can be expanded to an unusually large size: when closed, the diameter is 5 feet 7 inches.; when extended, the diameter is 6 feet 10 inches; fully extended the diameter is 8 feet 2 inches. It also includes a leaf-cabinet, the top of the door stamped Johnstone Jupe & Co / New Bond St / London 8247, with the two complete sets of leaves. The larger leaves are numbered 1-8, the first also bearing the number 8674.
For similar examples, please see Gilbert, C., Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, Leeds, 1996, pp. 35-36 and pp. 283-285; Moss Harris Ltd., A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art, III, London, n.d., circa 1930, p. 431; E. Aslin, 19th Century English Furniture, 1962, pl.5; and Frances Collard, Regency Furniture, 1985, p. 24. Comparable tables with similar bases sold at auction include Christie's, New York, 13 October 2016, lot 122 ($106,250 with premium); Christie's New York, 2 June 2015, lot 83 ($106,250 with premium); and Sotheby's, London 6 June 2006, lot 368 (£88,000 with premium).
C Property from the Collection of Judith Taubman
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