The Drawing Room sofa-table conceals games-boards beneath its reversible central slide, which displays a Roman mosaic of fine Jamaican woods in lozenged compartments. With its plinth-supported altar-pillar raised on Grecian-scrolled and palm-flowered trusses, it reflects the William IV French/antique fashion popularised by John C. Loudons, Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture and Furniture, 1833. The plan identifying its parquetried woods is dated 1835 and bears the inscription of the celebrated Kingston cabinet-maker Ralph Turnbull (fl. 1820-1840) of Harbour Street, who received a Premium from the Jamaican House of Assembly for his timber research in 1834. At the same time he was patronised by William IV’s Governor of Jamaica, the Marquis of Sligo of Westport House, Ireland (P. Carson, 'Jamaican Regency Furniture 1815-1840', The Jamaican, December 1999, pp.74-75). There is a similar games-table, also incorporating woods from the Sligo estates in Jamaica, at Westport House (M. Girouard, 'Westport House, Co. Mayo, Ireland', Country Life, 6 May 1965, pp.1074-1077).
Jamaica was central to Sir John Gladstone's business, and he acquired large sugar plantations on the Island. As with the many other parts of the world where he did business, works of art and furniture from those places entered his magnificent collection.