This impressive serving-table, headed by festive bacchic rams's heads, was most certainly intended to be placed in a dining-room or banqueting room. Its highly unusual form with hinged flap supported on a concertina-action support, is remarkable in that it is carved on all four sides allowing it to be brought out to the center of a room. While no other tables of this form are known to exist, its scale and depth of carving can be compared to a slightly earlier example at Langley Park, Norfolk illustrated in Country Life, 15 October 1927, fig.3. There are three related ormolu ram-headed side tables in the drawing room at Arundel Castle, West Sussex that are thought to have been supplied to Norfolk House, London (C.Wainwright, 'Arundel Castle from 1850', The Connoisseur, March 1978, p.176, fig.B). A pair of white-painted sideboards supplied to Sir Rowland Winn for the dining room at Nostell Priory, Yorkshire feature closely modelled rams's heads which embellish their friezes. The tables, which correspond to a signed furniture design by the architect James Paine (and the only signed existing design) may have been conceivably been executed by the cabinet-maker Thomas Chippendale who supplied vast quantities of furniture for the house from 1767. Chippendale was thought to have been working at Nostell prior to Paine's dismissal in 1765 as a drawing for the wall-scheme of the library attributed to Chippendale, corresponds closely with an alternative scheme by Paine. Interestingly, a pier table of comparable design in Chippendale's hand is now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (G. Jackson-Stops, 'Pre-Adam furniture designs at Nostell Priory', Furniture History, 1974, pl.11A (the Paine design) and 11B).
The hooks that lock the hinge mechanism on this table are stamped H.TIBATS. Many hinges on fine pieces of mid-18th century case furniture bear this same stamp but its presence on a lock is rare. Tibats was clearly an important source of iron fittings and was probably based on London or Birmingham (see P. Thornton, 'A Signed Hinge', Furniture History, Leeds, 1966, pp.44-45, pl.XXIII).