The table's frame is elegantly serpentined in the 1770s French manner illustrated by a 'cabriole' chair pattern in T. Malton's, Compleat Treatise on Perspective, 1775 (pl. 33). The design, with palm-flowered serpentined legs, relates to chairs supplied to Philip Yorke for Erdigg, North Wales and traditionally attributed to John Cobb (d. 1778) of St. Martin’s Lane, 'Upholsterer' to King George III, and from 1761 in partnership with William Vile (d. 1767) (J. Cragg, 'Room for improvement, the re-arrangement of room furnishings at Erdigg', Apollo, April 2002, p. 38, fig. 4). A set of six side chairs, attributed to John Cobb and corresponding to the set in the Drawing Room at Erdigg, was sold anonymously, Christie's, New York, 18 October 2005, lot 422. Payments to John Cobb were made by Philip Yorke I of Erdigg in 1770 (Erdigg, guide book, 1978, p. 30).
A closely related serpentine mahogany Pembroke table was sold anonymously [50 Years of Collecting: The Decorative Arts of Georgian England], in these Rooms, 14 May 2003, lot 39 (£128,450). The latter was illustrated in C. Claxton-Stevens & S. Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture: The Norman Adams Collection, Woodbridge, 1985, pp. 320-1 and was previously in the collection of a deeply Symondsian collector, Frederick Poke.
A. Hepplewhite & Co's Cabinet-Maker's and Upholsterer's Guide, 1788, pl. 62, illustrates this type of mahogany table with the comment 'Pembroke tables are the most useful of this species of furniture: they may be of various shapes' and Sheraton adds that the name comes 'from the name of the lady who first gave orders for one of them' (T.Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary, 1803). Hepplewhite also provides a pattern for a bowed 'leaf' with rounded corners (Hepplewhite, op. cit., pl. 64). This table evolved from the mid-18th century 'breakfast table' which furnished bedroom apartments and its serpentined and elegantly tapering legs terminating in scroll feet in the Louis XV manner relate to those on a dressing-stool published by Hepplewhite, ibid., pl. 16.