John, 6th Duke of Bedford (d.1839) inherited the Tavistock estate, Devon in 1802 and consulted the architects Humphrey Repton (d.1818) and Jeffry Wyatt (later Sir Jeffry Wyattville) (d.1840) in the picturesque embellishment of Endsleigh gardens, overlooking the river Tamar, and the building of a family villa or rustic lodge in the manner of a cottage orne. Jeffry, part of the celebrated Wyatt dynasty of architects, builders and sculptors, had established his own practice in 1799 after training in the office of James Wyatt (d.1813), Surveyor General of George III's Board of Works.
The flower-stand table, with lozenge-trellised stretcher, was designed for the Ante-Room to the Duchess of Bedford's Endsleigh Drawing Room; and its lotus-flowered pillars reflect the contemporary interest in Indian ornament. A trellised garden room shown in Repton's 'Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening', 1816, featured a related table displaying plants flowering underneath its marble top (S. Daniels, Humphrey Repton, 1999, fig 25).
Jeffry Wyatt provided designs for the principal furniture, whose execution was entrusted to a variety of local craftsmen in Exeter. Original invoices (held in the Bedford Archive and the Devon County Record Office) sent to His Grace The Duke of Bedford during the period 1810-1820, include bills from numerous craftsmen working under William Walker, the Clerk of Works at Endsleigh. From these invoices it is possible to identify a number of pieces of furniture made by the local craftsmen; in particular by the cabinet-makers John Williams and Samuel Soper.