This 'octagon corner' sofa table with richly polished and mottled amboyna veneer brass-inlaid in fillets and ebony ribbons after the French 'buhl' manner, belongs to a group of 'Grecian furniture' manufactured by George Bullock (d. 1818), sculptor and cabinet-maker, following his Parisian visit of 1814 and the establishment of his London 'Mona Marble and Furniture' works at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square (C. Wainwright, George Bullock: Cabinet-Maker, London, 1988, p. 157). It was highly praised for its elegance and magnificence in Rudolph Ackermann's, Repository of the Arts, 1816 , which devoted around a dozen plates to his work. The table's trestle or standard pattern with plinth-suppported and stretcher-tied lyres, features in the Bullock Wilkinson tracings at the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, p. 30 and was later illustrated by the architectural draughtsman Richard Brown in his Rudiments of Drawing Cabinet and Upholstery Furniture, 1822, pl. IX. The 'massy grandeur' of Bullock's furniture was particularly praised by Brown (under pl. XXV) as was his 'true Grecian taste', the diversity of his veneers and the novelty of his buhl-work 'ornaments' such as the use of British plants.
Here the table-top displays a ribbon of trefoiled sprigs, which replaced the more common French laurel-wreath and was much favoured by Bullock. An oak sofa table at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, with identical borders was acquired directly from Bullock by the 4th Duke of Buccleuch in November 1814. The borders also appear on the suite of furniture manufactured for Don Pedro de Souza e Holstein, 1st Duke of of Palmella (d. 1850), Portuguese ambassador to the court of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, the majority of which was sold in these Rooms, 25 July 1987 lots 171-181 (L. Wood, 'George Bullock and the Duke of Palmella', National Art Collections Fund Review, 1988, pp. 96-100). As the 1819 catalogue reveals, 'Octagon Corners' appear on several sofa tables in the Bullock sale. An amboyna sofa table of this pattern was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 16 March 1967, lot 102 and another, largely in brown oak was sold from by Mr. Edward Sarofim, in these Rooms, 16 November 1995, lot 105 (£62,000).