George IV Mahogany Center Table
First quarter 19th century
In the manner of C. H. Tatham
The finely figured rectangular top above a frieze drawer flanked by foliate-carved scrolled volutes, both sides of the lyre-shaped trestle supports carved with anthemions and foliate-carved scrolls, on rectangular plinths with rounded ends and raised on reeded circular feet, with casters. Height 29 1/2 inches (75 cm), width 54 3/4 inches (139.1 cm), depth 33 3/4 inches (85.7 cm).
The design for this table is closely based on a plate illustrating 'A Roman table with paw feet and bowed legs' from C. H. Tatham's Etchings Representing the Best Examples of Ancient Ornamental Architectural drawn from the Originals in Rome and Other Parts of Italy during the years 1794, 1795 and 1796, first published in 1799. The ends of the present table differ from this published design in having an inverted shape and monopodia.
Charles Heathcote Tatham (1772-1842) was an architect who at the age of nineteen was employed in the office of Henry Holland, the Prince of Wales's architect. With encouragement and financial help from Holland he left for Italy in 1794 spending time in Rome and Turin as a student of classical architecture. Amongst his friends during this period were Canova, Angelica Kauffman, Sir William Hamilton, and Howard, fifth Earl of Carlisle, whose friendship and patronage contributed to his future success. On his travels he collected a number of antique architectural and decorative fragments on behalf of Henry Holland and these, together with his numerous architectural drawings, are now in the Soane Museum. A number of these drawings, including one for the inspiration for the present table, was included in his publication of 1799, a second edition appearing in 1803.
C. H. Tatham was the brother of Thomas Tatham, one of the principals of the noted Royal Cabinetmakers Marsh and Tatham of Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, London. A number of pieces supplied by this firm to the Prince of Wales for Carlton House are either taken directly from one of C. H. Tatham's designs, such as carved and gilded Council chairs, or are related to his style, such as a set of library bookcases supplied in 1806.
A related Irish table, attributed to Mack, Williams and Gibton, was sold, Christie's, London, Out of the Ordinary The Discerning and Individual Taste of Christopher Gibbs and Harris Lindsay, May 10, 2006, lot 292, and, again, Sotheby's, London, November 22, 2006, lot 128.
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