Robert Wemyss Symonds (d.1958), the most important English furniture historian, author and advisor of his time, described this table as 'undoubtedly one of the finest examples of this type of table extant. The graceful curve of the leg, the execution of the carving, the figured veneer on the frieze, are all factors that denote high standard of craftmanship.' (Symonds, op. cit., 1936, p. 197).
This elegant table displays various Irish characteristics: the shell motif at the top of the leg, the extended moulding to the inner edge of the upper leg and the trifid foot, so often seen in Irish furniture (see The Knight of Glin & J. Peill, Irish Furniture, New Haven & London, 2007).
PERCIVAL GRIFFITHS & GEOFFREY BLACKWELL
The collection formed by Percival D. Griffiths, F.S.A (d. 1938). under the wise counsel of R. W. Symonds is considered to be arguably the greatest collection of English Furniture formed last Century. Indeed, it was Griffiths' collection that provided the content for Symonds' seminal work English Furniture from Charles II to George II, 1929. The interiors at Sandridgebury are happily recalled in 'Sandridgebury: The Country Residence of Percival D. Griffiths', published by Symonds in Antiques, March 1931, pp. 193-196. Symonds later published 'Percival Griffiths, F.S.A.: A Memoir on a Great Collector of English Furniture', The Antique Collector, November-December 1943, pp. 163-169.
Geoffrey Blackwell, O.B.E. (1884-1943) was one of Symonds' main collectors of the generation after Griffiths. His collection was unusual in combining modern British pictures and Georgian furniture, which he furnished his Berkhamsted house. Blackwell's furniture formed the subject of two articles by Symonds in Apollo in 1936. Symonds was behind the formation of several other prominent collections such as those formed by J. S. Sykes, James Thursby Pelham, E. B. Moller and Frederick Poke and often acted as intermediary between collectors when they decide to 'refine' their collections. A group of furniture from Blackwell's collection was sold by members of the Blackwell family, in these Rooms, 9 July 1992, lots 137-146.