The sideboard-table's marble top, with projecting Roman 'tablet' corners, is supported on caryatic Egyptian sphinx monopodiae that are incorporated in hermed and truss-scrolled pilasters and conjoined at the corners. The Ptolemaïc console table, evoking concepts of the 'Egyptian Hall of Antiquity' and the 'Golden Age of Peace and Plenty' is labelled with a trophy of Ceres' conjoined cornucopiae that issue from the scrolled and antique-fretted rainceaux of Roman foliage beneath its echinous-moulded cornice. The harvest deity's horns-of-plenty, tied by their fruit garland, are also bound with poetic laurel 'baguettes' that festoon the laurelled pilasters, whose lambrequined drapery serves to recall love's triumph with their dolphin-scaled imbrications.
Inspiration for such Egyptian ornament was encouraged by the Italian architect antiquarian G.B. Piranesi, whose related Antinoüs-telamon pilasters introduced in Rome's Caffè degli Inglesi were popularised by his Diverse maniere d'adornare i cammini, 1769. This table pattern was invented for Louis XVI's Hôtel du Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, Paris around 1784, when Thierry de Ville d'Avray (d.1785) was appointed as head of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne and Jean-Démosthène Dugourc (d. 1825), was appointed as its Dessinateur. A pair of 'consoles' were carved to Dugourc's design by F.C. Buteux for the Hôtel's Galerie des Grands Meubles, before being moved to the Château de Fontainebleau in the 19th century (E. Williamson, Le Mobilier National, Paris 1883, vol. II, fig. 83; and C. Baulez, Il mobile francese, 1981, fig. 34). In 1786, Dugourc was employed by the Prince of Asturias, the future Charles IV of Spain (from 1788-1808), to design a fully-fledged Egyptian apartment for the Escorial Palace, outside Madrid and also for the Pardo. These projects were never realised. He later worked again in Madrid, from 1800 for the Duke of Osuna and made designs for the Duchess of Alba. A related centre table of the present pattern, was sold anonymously, Christie's London, 20 June 1985, lot 50.
Hubert Lyautey was a distinguished French army officer who rose through the ranks to become General in 1902, having served in Algeria, Indochina and Madagascar. From 1907-1912 he was Military Governor of French Morocco and its Resident-General until 1925. He was awarded the honour of Marshal of France in 1921.