This unusual early 18th century walnut table with folding top derives from the portable desk-box and a later, less static, folding table that emerged in the 1690s and, as in the present example, customarily has six legs joined by a stretcher. Whereas the hinged top of early 17th century models opens forward to rest on supporting gatelegs, thereby forming a flat surface, the top of this later, more sophisticated, table is hinged on the right and opens to the side, supported by a sliding leg. On the left, there is a corresponding inset tray, almost certainly designed to support a light. The well at the top was possibly intended to hold papers or alternatively was fitted with small drawers or compartments (Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714 From Charles II to Queen Anne, 2002, pp. 213-215).
A tea or dressing table of similar form but without the hinged top and additional supports is illustrated in Adam Bowett, Early Georgian Furniture 1715-1740, 2009, p. 244, pl. 5:83) and is almost identical to one at Haddo House, Aberdeen (ibid).