This elegant sideboard-table, with its tablet-enriched frieze tied by an antique-fluted ribbon-guilloche and its paired hermed and flute-enriched legs, epitomises the 'Roman' fashion introduced at Thomas Chippendale's St. Martin's Lane workshops in the 1770s by his son Thomas Chippendale Junior (d.1822), author of Sketches of Ornament (1779). Its design corresponds closely to a dining-room sideboard supplied by the firm in circa 1776 for Ninian Home at Paxton, Berwickshire, Scotland (illustrated in C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol.II, p.193, fig.351). Both Thomas Chippendale Senior and Junior worked extensively at Paxton over many years as supported by documentation dating from 1774 until 1791. Ninian Home sought to furnish Paxton in a 'neat and substantially good' manner and the sideboard table was a more refined and less ornamented version of the table supplied by Chippendale for Harewood House, Yorkshire in circa 1771 (C. Gilbert, op.cit, p.192, pl.350). A similar table, also likely to have been supplied for Paxton, was sold Christie's London, 14 June 2001, lot 130.
The 'garb' or wheat-sheaf, evoking sacrifices to the harvest deity Ceres, is displayed in a beribboned laurel-wreath recalling the sun-deity Apollo as god of Poetry; while the sun-deity's love is recalled by sunflower paterae accompanying the laurel 'baguettes' that festoon the side tablets. The wheat sheaf on this table is also likely to represent a family crest as it does on a suite of furniture thought to have been supplied by the Chippendale firm for the Hungerford Family of Dingley Hall, Northamptonshire. The suite originally comprised two sofas, at least twelve armchairs and a pair of card tables. Virtually the same laurel-embellished wheat sheaf is displayed on the crestrails of the armchairs, while their seatrails feature the complete family crest with wheat flanked by scythes issuing from a Ducal coronet. A pair of chairs from the suite was sold, the property of a Gentleman, in these Rooms, 20 April 1985, lot 160. The pair of card tables also feature the complete family crest - one of these tables is in the Untermyer collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see Y. Hackenbrock, ed., English Furniturein the Irwin Untermyer Collection, 1958, fig.259, pl.220) while the other was sold Christie's London, 29 November 1984, lot 64.
Given the likely Chippendale authorship and the wheat-sheaf crest, it is tempting to ascribe this table to the Hungerford family commission. Sadly, the table does not appear in the Dingley house sale conducted on 2 September 1924. Dingley Hall was purchased together with the contents by the 8th Viscount Downe in 1883 after which much of the property was transferred to the Downe family seat at Wykeham Abbey, Yorkshire (see M. Jourdain, 'Furniture at Wykeham Abbey - I', Apollo, vol.46, 1947, pp.79-81). It is possible that this table was transferred among these effects. The wheat sheaf crest was also adopted by the Grosvenor family, Earls and Dukes of Westminster.