The tables, concealing baize cloths beneath tops of beautiful marble-figured mahogany, reflect the 1750s fashion in rooms-of-entertainment for accompanying pier-glasses with games-tables rather than marble-topped tables. Their frames, in keeping with the contemporary 'Arcadian' landscaped parks of 'Roman' styled villas and mansions, are serpentined after the natural or French picturesque manner lauded in William Hogarths, Analysis of Beauty (1753), and Thomas Chippendales, Gentleman and Cabinet-Makers Director (1754).
Like 'French Chair' patterns, advertised by Chippendale as 'Modern', they evoke the festive companions of the wine-deity Bacchus by water-reeds, which are sacred to Arcadian satyr Pan and enwreath the tables' cornices and flute-scalloped and sarcophagus-scrolled legs. The latters' Ionic waved trusses and cupid-bowed friezes evoke Venus and her triumphal water-birth, since their parquetry is figured with fountains, an attribute of the Nature-deity, and bordered by water-bubbled cartouches issuing from scalloped and acanthus-wrapped reeds. The reed enrichments were a popular feature of furniture supplied in the 1760s by the St. Martin's Lane cabinet-maker Thomas Chippendale (d.1779) to houses such as Foremark Hall, Derbyshire (see C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978).
The tables, which are likely to have been supplied by Messrs Frank Partridge, were amongst the Mayfair collection at 23 Park Lane assembled from 1900 by the connoisseur Henry Hirsch (d. 1931) (see P. Macquoid, 'Mr Henry Hirschs Furniture I & II', Country Life, 25 October and 15 November 1924).
In addition to the lot offered here, two George III mahogany concertina-action card tables with hinges stamped 'WS', were sold anonymously, Christies, London, 9 July 1992, lot 36; and another, 17 April 1997, lot 38.