A 19th Century Mahogany and Parcel Gilt Carved Centre Table in the George II Style

The rectangular Sarrancolin marble top above a lobed and leaf carved ogee moulding and scrolling acanthus carved frieze with central lion’s mask, with oak leaf carved swags, on scrolling acanthus carved cabriole legs and well carved carved lion paw feet. Bearing a brass plaque reading: ‘Bought from the Grenfell Collection, 1916’, a later copy of a George II Parcel Gilt table currently held in our antiques inventory.

Height: 86cm (33 ½ in)
Width: 170cm (66 ½ in)
Depth: 82cm (32 in)


Taplow Court, Buckinghamshire. Acquired by Sir Lewis Richardson Bt (1873-1934) for Harrington House, Kensington Palace Gardens and thence by descent to the present owner. Harrington House was built by Leicester Harrington, 5th Earl of Harrington (1784-1864) in 1852, possibly to designs by Decimus Burton with involvement from Lord Harrington himself and working in his favoured Gothic style and built under the supervision of C.J. Richardson, who was the surveyor to the Earl’s South Kensington estate. After the death of Lord Harrington (d.1862) and his widow (d.1898), the house was acquired from the Harringon family in 1924 by Sir Lewis Richardson, who spent some £25,000 on alterations supervised by the Mount Street contractor Sidney Parvin.

The circumstances under which Sir Lewis Richardson acquired the lot offered here from the Grenfell Collection remains unclear. Although intriguingly the Grenfells at Taplow Court where the table is thought to have originated were related to the Earls of Harrington through Charles Pascoe Grenfell’s (1790-1867) marriage to Lady Georgiana Molyneux, the great grand-daughter of William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington (1719-1779.) Leicester Harrington, 5th Earl of Harrington who built Harrington House in 1852 was the grandson of the 2nd Earl. The Grenfell family left Taplow Court during World War One after the death of both of Lord Desborough’s sons. It is therefore possible that the table was then acquired by the Harrington family and transferred with Harrington House in 1924 or was acquired by Richardson independently.

The table itself follows closely the design of a George II giltwood table reputedly owned by Ronald and Nancy Tree which was at either Mereworth, Kent or Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire and later at Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire from where it was sold at Christie’s London, 22 November 2007, lot 660. Another table of very similar form thought possibly to be 18th century but re-framed was sold by the London dealer Basil Dighton and acquired by The North Carolina Museum of Art in 1952 (acc. no.52.9.194). The table was sold by Dighton as having come from Grimsthorpe Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Ancaster and was later deaccessioned from the North Carolina Museum of Art being sold Sotheby’s, New York, 16 October 1993, lot 186 and again at Christie’s New York, 21 November 2011, lot 1024.