James Montgomery was an eminent lawyer and was Lord Advocate from 1766-1775, MP for Peebles in 1768 and was appointed Chief Baron of the court of Exchequer, Scotland in 1775; he was created 1st Bt. of Stanhope in 1801. James Montgomery would have been aware of the fashions of the day and with his rising fortunes in the mid-18th century he stands out a the strongest candidate for assembling the interesting collection of George II furniture included in this sale.
The design of these marble topped sideboard-tables appears to be a Scottish interpretation of the George II Romano-British fashion promoted by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and his protegé the Rome-trained artist architect William Kent (d. 1748), in its display of a bold Vitruvian scroll to the frieze.
A similar George II table with thick grey-veined white marble slab and Vitruvian-scroll frieze, catalogued as possibly Scottish and with a Scottish provenance, was in the collection of Michael Lipitch, sold Christie's London, 4 October 2001, lot 112. A further related Scottish table of slightly later date, also with Vitruvian-scroll frieze, was in the Stirling of Keir Collection, sold Christie's Glasgow, 22 May 1995, lot 138.
The distinctive lambrequin-draped frieze was a motif also employed by Mayhew & Ince, displayed on a pair of mahogany collector's cabinets supplied by the firm to Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter in the 1760's (O. Impley ed., The Cecil Family Collects - Four Centuries of Decoraative Arts from Burghley House, ex. cat. 1998, p. 196, cat. 96).