This table was originally from Balrath Bury, Co. Meath, where it is photographed in situ in an undated early 20th Century photograph. Balrath was a pedimented 18th Century house of seven bays with a curved bow at each end. Subsequently altered and enlarged in the later 19th Century, it was used as a barracks in the Second World War and was reduced in scale following a fire in 1942.
With its heavy reeded top and monumental architectural base, this centre table is closely related to the documented oeuvre of Mack, Williams and Gibton. Zachariah Williams and William Gibton traded together from 1810 in Stafford Street, Dublin until John Mack's death in 1829, when Williams and Gibton continued to work together until the death of Gibton in 1842. The firm is recognized for the superb timbers employed and their high quality of workmanship which is often compared to Gillows of Lancaster and London and much of the furniture they produced was by Thomas Hope and George Smith. The original partners John Mack and Robert Gibton are listed in the Dublin directories individually from 1784 and 1790, respectively, and appear to have come into partnership from 1803. They were appointed 'Upholsterers & Cabinet Makers to his Majesty, His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant and His Majesty's Board of Works' in 1806 and the firm retained this Royal Warranty for many years, supplying and restoring furniture for important public buildings in Ireland including the Four Courts, the War office, the Barracks Office, Dublin Castle and the Treasury and Viceregal Lodge (A. Alexander, 'A Firm of Dublin Cabinet-Makers, Mack, Williams & Gibton', Irish Arts Review, 1995, pp. 146-147, figs. 12 and 13).
The slightly later, more monumental style of Williams & Gibton in the 1830's - as seen on this centre table - is perhaps best illustrated by the furniture supplied, often to Francis Goodwin's designs, for Lissadell, Co. Sligo (sold at Christie's House Sale, 25 November 2003).