The lady's dressing-table is elegantly serpentined, with arched cupid-bow frieze, in the George III French fashion introduced in the late 1760s. It is designed in the form of a 'bonheur-du-jour' or boudoir 'secretaire' and its trompe l'oeil drawer is veneered in the frieze. The top and hollow-fronted stretcher are tray-galleried for the display of 'wash-stand' china. The table veneer of golden West Indian satinwood is ribbon-banded in red padouk and inlaid with vines, which would have been stained green. A festive trophy inlaid on the top comprises a pair of entwined vine-garlands tied by a large leaf, and enclosed in a ribbon-tied wreath. Vines also festoon the table-frieze, after the 'antique' manner popularised by the sun-deity Apollo's temple, featured in Robert Woods' Ruins of the Temple of the Sun at Palmyra, 1753. No doubt the table inlay was intended to correspond with a contemporary china pattern, such as the elegant neo-classical festoons introduced at the Chelsea-Derby porcelain manufactory. This colourful table relates to the French-fashioned 'inlaid work' tables such as that described as being 'inscrutez de fleurs en bois' and illustrated in the trade-sheet issued in the late 1750s by the Tottenham Court Road ébéniste, Pierre Langlois (d. 1767)(P. Thornton and W. Reider, 'Pierre Langlois, Ebéniste - Part I', The Connoisseur, December 1971, p. 284). Langlois specialised in richly inlaid furniture 'in the foreign taste' and in 1759 described one such hinged-top and stretcher-trayed table as a 'table de vide poche'. Around the time that Pierre Langlois Junior (d. 1781) succeeded to his father's business, Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland made a purchase of a related table, and noted it in her 1767 diary as 'A Table inlaid wood by L'Anglois' (ibid., p. 283).
A related tray-topped dressing-table, originally with an undertier, was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 13 April 1989, lot 68.
The freedom of the meandering vine marquetry on this table is characteristic of the Dublin cabinet-maker and inlayer, William Moore (d. 1814), a pupil of Mayhew and Ince. Similar trailing marquetry can be seen on the top of a demi-lune commode in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (R. Luddy, ''Every Article in the Inlaid Way', The Furniture of William Moore', Irish Arts Review Yearbook, vol. 18, 2002, pp. 47 and 50, figs. 6 and 10) and a pier table sold by an Irish family, in these Rooms, 11 November 1999, lot 164, both attributed to Moore.
It is interesting to note that the Thynne family had owned land in Ireland since the 17th Century. In 1672, Sir Thomas Thynne, 2nd Bt. and later 1st Viscount Weymouth (d. 1714) married Lady Frances Finch and part of her dowry included a large estate in County Monaghan, amounting to some 22,000 acres.