A Spectacular Irish Mid 18th Century Oak Console Table
With thick and robustly carved gadrooned Kilkenny slate top, assembled in three sections, over plain frieze with carved central ribbon banner depicting the ‘THROUGH’ motto that forms part of the Hamilton family crest (strong family lineage with the Dukes of Abercorn, reference image included of the coat of arms at Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone), above a highly carved apron depicting vines and grapes (possibly suggesting its positioning in dining room, rather than a hall of a great Irish estate), with further armorial details including the oak tree and crown, and shell carved sides. With acanthus carved cabriole legs, on ball and claw feet, with overall dry and rich oak surface patina; comparable Irish tables of this significance and execution (many of which are referenced extensively in the Knight of Glin and James Peill’s iconic publication, ‘Irish Furniture’) were often carved from mahogany – a timber that lends itself well to fine and intricate carving – however this example is a tour de force of carving in oak, a material that is highly sympathetic to the heraldic sentiment, and symbol of the oak tree.
Sir Gilbert Hamilton, the founder of the family, having slain John de Spencer, fled from the court of Edward II of England and sought safety in Scotland. Being, however, closely pursued, he and his servant changed clothes with two woodcutters, and taking their saws, were in the act of cutting through an oak tree when his pursuers passed by. To protect his disguise, Sir Gilbert hastily cried out “Through!”, and from there took this motto and the oak tree as his crest, in commemoration of his near escape.
From Baronscourt, Co Tyrone, Ireland, and the Duke of Abercorn.
Exceptionally executed but in the distinct spirit of the vernacular Irish estate carpenter (c.1740), and thence by family descent. Latterly acquired by Gerald Kenyon Antiques, Dublin.
Height: 82 cm
Width: 140 cm
Depth: 73 cm