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A GEORGE III MAHOGANY SILVER TABLE
A GEORGE III MAHOGANY SILVER TABLE

POSSIBLY BY JOHN COBB, CIRCA 1765

Details
A GEORGE III MAHOGANY SILVER TABLE
Possibly by John Cobb, circa 1765
The rectangular top with baluster-turned gallery cornered by square panelled paterae, above a Vitruvian-scrolled frieze issuing acanthus leaves and with molded lower edge, on upspringing acanthus-headed square tapering fluted legs with pierced scrolling angle brackets and step-molded square feet, joined by a molded arched X-stretcher with rectangular galleried platform, on leather casters, inscribed in black marker 4780, the top with added fillet along one side to counteract shrinkage
29¾in. (75.5cm.) high, 36¼in. (92cm.) wide, 27½in. (70cm.) deep
Provenance
H.J. Joel, Esq., almost certainly acquired under the advice of R.W. Symonds.
Acquired from Stair & Company Inc., New York in 1954.
Literature
M. Jourdain and F. Rose, English Furniture: The Georgian Period (1750-1830), London, 1953, p. 102, fig. 69.

Lot Essay

The table is attributed to Royal cabinetmaker John Cobb (d. 1778) based on a serving table of closely related design supplied to Sir George Strickland of Boynton Hall, Yorkshire and now in the public collections at Temple Newsam House, Leeds (C. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, Leeds, 1978, no. 337, pp. 278-280 and reproduced here). Among the distinctive characteristics that associate the two tables are the Vitruvian-scrolled frieze above 'Roman' acanthus-headed tapering pilaster legs. The Boynton table has been attributed to Cobb on the evidence of several payments noted in the pocket account book of Sir George Strickland between 1754 and 1773.

Another serving table possibly by Cobb and supplied to John Scott, Esq., for Banks Fee House, Longborough, Gloucestershire, circa 1765, exhibits the same distinctive Vitruvian scroll frieze and legs and was sold anonymously, Christie's London, 6 July 2000, lot 137 (£223,750). A further table, probably the pair to the above example, and subsequently reduced in size, was sold anonymously, Christie's London, 14 June 2001, lot 135 (£97,250). Another table of the same form is in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

This table is a prime example of the sophisticated taste and astute eye of the collector H.J. Joel, Esq. who formed his collection under the aegis of the historian/architect Robert Wemyss Symonds. Then considered the greatest living authority on English furniture, Symonds is noted for his curatorial approach in the formation of the collections he helped to assemble. His strict standards for excellent, rarity and authenticity have become a benchmark for today's collectors. He served as advisor to such prominent collectors as Percival Griffiths, J.S. Sykes and Samuel Messer as well as a number of leading public collections in Europe and North America. Additionally, he was author to some 600 reference books and articles. Joel's collection was largely kept at his house Childwick Bury, St. Alban's, Hertfordshire whose contents were dispersed in the celebrated Christie's sale on 12 May 1978.
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