This console table, probably conceived without the present stretcher, relates to a pair of console tables by Georges Jacob that were sold anonymously in these Rooms, 4 July 1996, lot 376, while a further pair of related console tables from The Alexander Collection was sold at Christie's New York, 20 April 1999, lot 78. The ribbon-hung floral swags are related to work executed by the matre-sculpteur Jean-Louis Prieur for the Royal Palace in Warsaw in 1765-6 (S. Eriksen, Early Neoclassicism in France, London, 1974, pl. 407, 409 and 411-414). The chair frames, executed to that design, were made in the workshop of Louis Delanois while the carving was executed by Denis Coulonjon. Interestingly, the armchair of pl. 412 has a similar combination of floral swags and acanthus-wrapped arms to that of the acanthus scrolls on the supports of this console table. Such floral ornament was popularised at this period in the publication of 'Vases Nouveaux Composs par M. Jacques, Peintre et Dessinateur en la Manufacture Royale des Gobelins' of circa 1765, (Eriksen, op. cit., pl. 391).
The museum label indicates that the table was lent to one of the exhibitions organised by the Department of Science & Art, established in the 1850s and now incorporated in the Victoria & Albert Museum. John Webb (fl. 1825-60) was amongst the dealers, who played a prominent role in these early exhibitions, such as that held at Gore House, Kensington and entitled 'Specimens of Cabinet Work' 1853.
Meaning of Ornament
Conceived in the 1760s Grecian fashion, the elliptic-centred console, with fine carved bands of palms, Etruscan pearls and ribbon-twists, is richly flowered with festooned garlands. These are ribbon-tied at the centre and swagged from the volutes of the legs' acanthus-wrapped and thyrsus-finialed trusses.