These tables relate to furniture at Woodhall Park, Hertfordshire, which was designed by the architect Thomas Leverton (d.1824) and furnished in the early 1780s for Sir Thomas Rumbold, first Baronet (d.1791), former Governor of Madras for the East India Company. In 1801, Woodhall was acquired by Samuel Abel Smith. Perhaps coincidentally, the tables were illustrated in the posession of his relation, Lancelot Grey Hugh Smith (d.1941) in 1935 (C. Hussey, 'Mount Clare-II: The Residence of Mr. Lancelot Hugh Smith', Country Life, 2nd February, 1935, fig. 8; and also discussed C. Hussey, 'Furniture at Mount Clare' [also called Manresa House, Parkstead House and Roehampton House], Country Life, 23 March, 1935 p.304).
Amongst Rumbold's furniture that remained at Woodhall into the 1930s, were Grecian tripod candelabra-stands. Like the current lot these were inlaid with varie-coloured woods and trompe l'oeil flutes. (C. Hussey, 'Furniture at Woodhall Pak, Country Life, 26 April 1930, p.612, fig. 10). The candelabra-stands, like most of Woodhall's grander furniture, would have been supplied by Rumbold's principal furnishers Messrs Mayhew and Ince of Golden Square, famed authors of the Universal System of Household Furniture, 1762. The present tables, like the stands, epitomise Messrs Mayhew and Ince's finest work of the 1780s.
The sideboard-tables, reflecting the 18th century 'Roman' fashion, have richly-coloured marble-tops that are banded with Pan's reeds and serpentined in cupid-bows with columnar corners. The conforming reed-banded frames are likewise varie-coloured and mosaiced with trompe l'oeil flutes, as are the inverted-baluster legs, whose plinths are sculpted in antique-flutes. While the white holly frames are strung with trompe l'oeil pearl-strings in 'Etruscan' fashion, the legs are enwreathed by Roman acanthus-wrapped palms.