The antique-fluted sideboard table, with (originally) paired and herm-tapered legs capped by sunflower paterae, relates in part to a design published by Thomas Chippendale in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, 3rd ed’, 1763, pl. LXI, and later and more explicitly by William Thomas for John Harris Esq. in Original Designs in Architecture, 1783, pl. XXVII. While the depiction of hollow-collared legs was common to many published designs in the second half of the 18th century, it was John Linnell (d. 1796) who appears to have made most frequent use of the pattern. A 1767 design for hall settees for Shardeloes, Bucks, features square fluted legs with hollow collars, as does a design for an armchair from c. 1768 – 80, the latter also displaying a sunflower-carved block to the top of the leg (H. Hayward and P.Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1990, vol II, p. 127, fig. 251, and p. 42, fig. 83 respectively). A suite of seat furniture supplied to Robert Child by Linnell for the breakfast-room at Osterley Park, Middx, in 1768 bore the same combination of features.
It is possible the table was introduced to Stapleford Hall by Bennet Sherrard, 3rd Earl of Harborough, around 1768 - 9 during a period of period of repairs and alterations under the supervision of the 'eminent architect’ Christopher Staveley (d. 1801), or possibly after 1770 when Robert Sherard succeeded as 4th Earl. Robert employed 'Capability’ Brown to draw up plans for alterations and landscaping in the park at Stapleford.