With its 'Roman' acanthus-sheathed pillar above unusual inscrolled voluted legs, this tripod table relates to designs for Claw Tables published in Ince & Mayhew's pattern book, Universal System of Household Furniture of 1759-62, plate XIII. Such tables were often used for holding tea and coffee equipage, thus also often called Tea-Tables in late 17th and 18th Century terminology. By the mid-18th century with the proliferation of tea-drinking, tea gardens in London had been found to be gathering spots for the more unsavory elements of society, leading the well-heeled and fashionable ton of the day to retire to private tea-rooms appropriately furnished with such ornamental tables.
A virtually identical table with a pierced fretwork gallery was sold by the noted collector Fred Skull, at Christie's London, 23 April 1952, lot 262, and is now in the Irwin Untermyer Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (illustrated in J. Gloag, et. al., English Furniture: Irwin Untermyer Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1963, plate 201, fig. 239). This same table is also illustrated in F.L. Hinckley, Metropolitan Furniture of the Georgian Years, New York, 1988, plate 70, fig. 154, and also in Hinckley's A Directory of Queen Anne, Early Georgian and Chippendale Furniture, New York, 1971, plate 155, fig. 357. Both tables share the same unusual gallery delicately incised with opposing scrolls to each corner.
Another table with closely related base but with a rectangular tray-top, is illustrated in R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, eds., The Dictionary of English Furniture, 1927, vol. III, p. 198, fig. 10. This same table is also illustrated in the 1953 edition of the Dictionary, vol. III, p. 198, fig. 10 (as with Frank Partridge and Sons).
Other related tables include: an example illustrated in M. Jourdain and F. Rose, English Furniture: The Georgian Period (1750-1830), London, 1953, p. 107, fig. 75 (as with Phillips of Hitchin, Ltd.), and subsequently sold from the collection of Jerome C. Neuhoff, Sotheby's New York, 25 January, 1986, lot 190. Another with related scrolling voluted legs sold these Rooms, the property from a New England Collection, 13 April 2000, lot 19 ($99,500), while a jardinere with similarly conceived base although more elaborately carved was sold Sotheby's New York, 11 October 1996, lot 344.