Designed in the 'antique' Egyptian manner popularised by Denon's Voyage dans le Basse en Haute Egypte, 1802, this pier table, with its fluted therm Egyptian head supports, is closely related to the suite supplied by Thomas Chippendale Junior (d. 1822) for Sir Richard Colt Hoare (d. 1838) at Stourhead. A celebrated archaeologist, antiquary and historian, culminating in his 1803-1810 publication The Ancient History of Wiltshire, Colt Hoare was a leading patron of Chippendale and indeed the Stourhead commission, stretching from 1795 to 1820 greatly eased the burden of Chippendale's 1804 bankruptcy. The barrel-vaulted library at Stourhead, built by Messrs. Moulton and Atkinson of Salisbury circa 1792, clearly reflected Colt Hoare's antiquarian taste, and was adorned with copies of Raphael's School of Athens and Parnassus in the lunettes, while the complimentary ceiling and carpet designs were inspired by Roman tassellated paving. As well as the 1802 set of eight mahogany chairs, with circular backs ... elbows carved with Egyptian heads and fluted term feet, Chippendale supplied A large mahogany library table with ... thermed legs with Philosophers heads ... 4 end therms with Egyptian heads at a cost of ¨115 in 1805, and it is the fluted end supports that bear the closest resemblance to this lot.
Although George Smith considered the 'Younger Chippendale to possess a very great degree of taste with great ability as a draughtsman and designer', several elements, such as the Egyptian therm supports, barbed philosophers heads and single monopodiae appear in his own pattern book, A Collection of designs for Household Furniture, London 1808. However, the very pronounced French influence, derived from the designs of Percier & Fontaine and the furniture of Jacob Frères, some of which Chippendale is known to have recorded in his sketch book, points towards Denon's Voyage dans le Basse en Haute Egypte, as being the ultimate source, particularly as these terms are depicted with their Nemes or Klaft headdresses. It is therefore interesting to note that Colt Hoare is known to have acquired a copy of this celebrated volume for his archaeological library around 1802-3