This centre table or tea-table is boldly carved on all four sides, with Jupiter's eagle on the long sides and Venus's shell badge on the short sides. The eagles hold oak leaf swags, also sacred to Jupiter. The heavily carved apron below a plain frieze is typical of mid-18th Century Irish cabinet-making and this table exemplifies the best of Irish craftsmanship. The ground of the apron is pounced like early eighteenth-century gesso work which helps to give prominence to the florid acanthus carving and strapwork. It was probably made in Dublin where there was a thriving trade in furniture making, often with craftsmen moving between England and Ireland.
A related mahogany side table centred by an eagle formed part of the collection of the Viscounts Gormanston at Gormanston Castle, Co. Meath (The Knight of Glin and James Peill, Irish Furniture, New Haven and London, 2007, p. 232, cat. 111). The differential of 3 in. between the Griffiths catalogue width (36 in.) and the present measurement (39 in.) is explained by the difference between the width of the top and the width between the cabrioles of the legs.
PERCIVAL D. GRIFFITHS
The collection formed by Percival D. Griffiths, F.S.A (d. 1938) under the wise counsel of R. W. Symonds is considered to be arguably the greatest collection of English Furniture formed during the 20th Century. Indeed, it was Griffiths' collection that provided the content for Symonds' seminal work English Furniture from Charles II to George II, 1929. The interiors at Sandridgebury are happily recalled in Sandridgebury: The Country Residence of Percival D. Griffiths, published by Symonds in Antiques, March 1931, pp. 193-196. Symonds later published 'Percival Griffiths, F.S.A.: A Memoir on a Great Collector of English Furniture', The Antique Collector, November-December 1943, pp. 163-169. His collection has come to be recognised as a bench mark of excellence in the arena of collecting early to mid-18th Century walnut and mahogany furniture and is discussed by E. Lennox-Boyd, 'Introduction: Collecting in the Symonds Tradition', E. Lennox-Boyd (ed.), Masterpieces of English Furniture, The Gerstenfeld Collection, London, 1998, pp. 12-31).