John Belchier, a cabinet maker first recorded at 'The Sun' near St. Paul's Churchyard in July 1717, is recorded supplying "All sorts of Cabinet Works" to his clients, but mirrors and bureau bookcases are the documented works that he promoted in his trade advertisements (G. Beard and C. Gilbert, eds., The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, p. 59-60). From 1720 he supplied furniture to John Meller at Erddig, Clwyd, N. Wales, including a pair of pier mirrors, a mirror-topped table and a State bed with a similar hawks' head motif. The Erddig mirrors and table were formerly attributed to James Moore, perhaps because mirrors supplied to Hampton Court by John Gumley, his partner, share the motif of a mask with a feathered headdress (see R. Edwards and M. Jourdain, Georgian Cabinet-Makers, London, rev. ed., 1955, figs. 16 and 17).
A virtually identical table, and possible the same, is illustrated in H. Cescinsky, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, New York, n.d. (1915), vol. II, p. 111, fig. 107. There are variations in the detailing, such as diapering of legs and some of the low-relief carving. The differences might be explained by a later gilding scheme. Interestingly, it is illustrated with an incised top, which this table had in the 1981 sale. Another nearly identical table of the same model from the collection of W. H. Lever, Esq., 1st Viscount Leverhulme is illustrated in F. Lenygon, Furniture in England from 1660-1760, London, rev. edn., 1924, p. 257, fig. 387. Feathered masks feature on a number of tables of this date. These include a near pair with gilt-gesso tops sold Christie's, London, 8 July 1999, lot 120 (£155,500, including buyer's premium) and another in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. Interestingly, Moore's partner Gumley had supplied furniture to Chatsworth in 1702-5. Another was sold from the Estate of Sir John Gooch, 12th Bt., Sotheby's, London, 9-11 May 2000, lot 34 (£223,500, including buyer's premium).
We are extremely grateful to Jeremy Garfield-Davies for his kind assistance with the preparation of this note.