Designs for tables such as this were widely popularised in the first half of the 19th century in publications including George Smith's A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1808, and his Cabinet-Maker's and Upholsterer's Guide, 1826 but this particularly elaborate example relates closely to the work of the Scottish cabinet-maker and upholsterer William Trotter (d.1833). Initially entering his father's employment around 1790, Trotter became sole proprietor of the thriving business in 1809, and in 1814-15 he undertook a major commission to furnish the library and Picture-gallery at Paxton House, Berwickshire.
His work was characterised by the use of fine quality materials, bold carving and the occasional use of brass inlay, and he was always acutely aware of his customers' expectations. At Paxton in particular he created a number of pieces specifically intended to display marble tablets collected by George Home on a Grand Tour in the 1770's, and in his letter accompanying his initial estimate for the work he wrote 'I mean them all of solid rose wood- and would wish as much carving upon them as possible'. (Sebastian Pryke, 'Paxton House, Berwickshire - II', Country Life, 6 May, 1993, p.62).