This highly unusual table - the form growing out of a removable tray on stand - displays premi/gere partie marquetry of exceptional, jewel-like quality retaining much of its original engraving. Although the arrangement of the 'EAB' cyphers to the canted angles of the top are highly unusual, and on contemporary silver platter's are usually seen linked by an arabesque border with more elaborate coat-of-arms to the centre, they appear to be original to the table with the engraving executed by the same hand as the rest of the marquetry on the table. Although tantalisingly unidentified, the cypher undoubtedly holds the key to the original commission - but the coronet used is consistent with a Marquesate (or comparable rank) across Northern Europe, including Belgium and the Spanish Netherlands.
Perhaps the closest parallel can be drawn with a table in the Residenz, Munich, illustrated in B. Langer, Die Franzosischen Möbel des 18 Jahrunderts, Munich, 1995, no.2, pp.43-45. Dated to circa 1700 and associated with the work of Pierre Gole, this latter table shares an identical pattern of marquetry to the legs, with closely related brass capitals and feet and the same distinctive use of ebony bands. Moreover, although perhaps less spare, the quality of the Boulle marquetry and the refined nature of the engraving, particularly of the baskets of flowers and the snails, is extremely close in character. Although first succinctly recorded at the Residenz in the 1846 Inventory, this latter table is thought to have been a purchase made in Paris, presumably by either Maz-Emmanuel or Karl-Albrecht of Bavaria. Karl-Albrecht (1697-1745), Elector of Bavaria visited Paris with his brother Clemens-August in 1725 on the occasion of the Royal wedding arranged between the Polish princess Maria Leszcyinska and the Dauphin, the future Louis XV. The elder son of Max-Emanuel of Bavaria (1662-1726), Karl-Albrecht was not elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire until 1742 as Karl VII, and thus, up until his father's death, he embarked upon a remarkable and ambitious scheme of patronage in both Paris and at home. Like his son, Max-Emanuel's taste for French decorative arts had already been developed during his exile in France following his loss of the Spanish Netherlands and up until the Baden Peace Treatry of 1714, which restored him to his Bavarian electorship. In 1713 he had purchased a palace at Saint-Cloud and had begun making large-scale purchases in Paris to furnish both his newly-acquired property and his Bavarian residences. Amongst his acquisitions were an unusual pedestal supporting an equestrian group executed by Guillaume de Grof in 1714, in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, and a magnificent Boulle-work desk surmounted by a clock, now in the Louvre Museum, made by Bernard I van Risen Burgh around that time (J.-N. Ronfort and J.-Dominique Augarde, 'Le maître du bureau de l'Electeur,' L'Estampille/L'Objet d'Art, January 1991, pp. 42-74).