The elegant table, intended fireside companion for a scrolled Grecian sofa, is conceived in the French antique manner promoted around 1800 by the connoisseur Thomas Hope and illustrated in his London mansion museum guide entitled Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807). Evoking lyric-poetry's triumph, the golden 'bronze'-enriched table of 'Grecian' black and marble-figured calamander has a Greek ribbon-fretted china-rail; while its sarcophagus-scrolled pilasters are raised on Grecian-scolled and palm-flowered 'claws' and fretted, like a Hope table, in Apollonian lyre-form (see Hope, op. cit., pl. 15). Palm-flowered escutcheons and Egyptian sunburst handles embellish the frieze tablets, which are pearl-wreathed in Etruscan Pompeian fashion, like the Grecian-arched stretcher rail. This same pattern was adopted for sofa games-tables supplied for Shugborough, Staffordshire by Messrs Gillow of London and Lancaster; and as this firm was patronised by Ralph Riddell (d. 1833) of Felton Park, Northumberland, whose inscription appears on one drawer, the present table is likely to have been commissioned by him in 1818 (see J. Martin Robinson, Shugborough, London, 1989, p.77).