This finely executed table with its contrasting exotic sabicu inlay can unquestionably be attributed to the St. Martin's Lane workshop of Thomas Chippendale (d. 1779) based on its signature design. In 1764, Chippendale supplied two closely related tables, veneered in amber-colored 'Guadelupe' mahogany to Sir Lawrence Dundas for his London mansion at 19 Arlington Street (reproduced here; see also C. Gilbert, The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. I, pp. 156 and 159) and a further three tables of this form exist at Harewood House corresponding to a Chippendale design of circa 1772 (C. Gilbert, op. cit., vol. II, pps. 254, 256, figs. 464, 469). The same base features on a pair of candlestands supplied by Chippendale in 1774 for Paxton House (ibid, vol. II, p. 212, fig. 385) and the Gothic-cusped flutes and paneled leg appear on a firescreen supplied in the mid-1770s for Newby Hall, Yorkshire (ibid, fig. 334).
Obviously a popular form of occasional table, others of this same model are known. A slightly simpler model was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 6 July 2000, lot 65 and another, the property of a Lady, Christie's, London, 27 November 2003, lot 15. A further table of this form was sold, Christie's, London, 11 November 1999, lot 30. Others include a satinwood table sold by the late N.M.L. Watson, Esq., Christie's, London, 21 November 1985, lot 52 and a further rosewood example, sold anonymously, Sotheby's, London, 18 November 1994, lot 107.
The table's inlaid sunflower framed by a golden hexagonal compartment, serves as a poetic trophy to recall the ceiling of Apollo's temple, known through its illustration in Richard Wood's Ruins of the Temple of the Sun at Palmyra, 1753. The scrolled 'claw' is inlaid with trompe l'oeil flutes in the antique manner.