The elegant George II stand, of exotic East Indian padouk brass-inlaid in the French manner, has its galleried octagonal tray-top embellished with a golden whorled and shell-enriched acanthus-flower wreathed by a pearled ribbon-fret of rosy mahogany, while pearled Roman acanthus-flowers festoon its serpentined claw. Its reed-enriched baluster or pillar is conceived in the Franco-Roman manner popularised by James Gibbs's Books of Architecture, 1728 and relates to that of his table patterns for gardens and summer houses (pl. 147). This drawing-room stand for a silver tea-urn or kettle and its spirit-lamp is likely to have been designed en suite with a china or tea-table, and when not in use stood under its table. A 1758 pattern for a kettle-stand was published in Thomas Johnson's Collection of Designs (pl. 14) and another of 1761, in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, London, 3rd ed. 1762 (pl. LV). Related 'pillars and claw' table patterns issued in the 1730s trade-sheet of Thomas Potter accompanied an engraving of a brass-inlaid medal-cabinet, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see C. Gilbert and T. Murdoch, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, London, 1993, fig. II).
Its pearled acanthus also features on the claw of a tea/china-table attributed to Frederick Hintz that is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum and another that was formerly in the possession of R. A. Lee (Gilbert, ibid. figs. l53 and 157). The octagonal top of the latter is likewise inlaid with an acanthus-flowered ribbon-fret. Such tables were also accompanied by tea-chests, and one such mahogany and sarcophagus chest, inlaid with brass acanthus and padouk ribbon-banding, corresponds to a pattern illustrated on the trade card issued in the early 1740s by Thomas Landall (d.c. 1773), when he established his Swallow Street partnership with John Gordon. His stamp also features on an inlaid caddy illustrated in C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, Leeds, 1996, fig. 561. This same combination of brass-inlaid exotic veneers was adopted for a bureau-cabinet bearing the signature of J. Graveley, and on two window-pier tea-tables (Gilbert, ibid., figs. 50, 80 and 82). The latter have been attributed to the same manufacturer, who might be related to the upholsterer Michael Gravely, recorded in David Street, Westminster in the 1740s (see R. W. Symonds, London Furniture Makers, London, 1953, p. 68).
This lot was probably bought in the 1930s by Solomon Joseph Gubbay, a rope and jute merchant, who formed an eclectic collection of furniture, much of which has been sold in these Rooms (see lots 83-84, 18 April 1996).