Mayhew and Ince established their workshop in Broad St. in 1759. Although records exist of their commissions, it is extremely difficult to firmly attribute their works to them, owing to the unpredictable variations in style, construction and quality of workmanship throughout the forty years of production. One of the most striking features for which they are reknown is the use of natural coloured woods to create a boldly decorative effect. This can be seen on the present table, in the use of quarter-veneering in satinwood, with an inlaid medallion of ebony and fruitwood, enclosed by a fan-shaped, scorched sycamore oval. This bears direct comparison with a Pembroke table (L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, p. 194 no. 183.) which although not attributed to Mayhew and Ince, has a similar rosewood quarter-veneered top centered by an oval medallion to the rectangular top and demi-lune side-flaps and similar square tapering legs headed by floral patera. Also comparable (ibid, no. 182) is another Pembroke table with bold kingwood quarter-veneering to the top centered by floral patera encircled with husk trails, and conforming patera and husk trails to the square tapering legs.
Striking also in the present lot is the highly unusual use of yewwood as a veneer. This was a Mayhew and Ince leitmotif, unused by other cabinet-makers of this period. (The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986).
Among the pieces of Mayhew and Ince supplied to the sixth Duke of Devonshire in 1786 are 'two large oval satinwood Pembroke Tables riband trophies of musical instruments a shelf under with wrought brass panels on term feet'. These tables are veneered in satinwood and display an interesting contrast of neoclassical and rococo elements: such as the elegant square tapering legs and the serpentine shaped apron. The unusual shelf and pierced brass panel indicate that they were adapted by Mayhew and Ince to suit the needs of the patron. (I. Hall, 'A Neoclassical Episode at Chatsworth' The Burlington Magazine, p. 410, illustrated fig 55).