The sideboard-tables, bearing the arms of Thomas Pelham, later 1st Earl of Chichester (d.1805) are designed in the George II eclectic 'Modern' fashion popularised by Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754. They are likely to have been commissioned at the time of his marriage in 1754 to Anne Meinhardt Frankland. Their architecture and heraldic ornament corresponds with the decoration of other furnishings of the banqueting hall of his Roman-pedimented villa at Stanmer, Sussex (see illustration) and it is likely that they were originally stone-coloured. The room had been designed in the early 1720s by Nicholas Dubois (d. 1735), Master Mason of George I's Board of Works and translator of Leoni's edition of The Architecture of Andrea Palladio (1715-1718). In addition to a flower-festooned niche above the stone chimneypiece, there were wall-niches flanking the central door to the inner hall and the tables stood beneath these arched niches for sculpture.
Their 'Roman' slabs of white marble are supported on 'antique' reed-gadrooned frames, whose friezes and paired pilasters are flowered and fretted in the 'picturesque' manner. Flowered tablets accompany the polychromed armorials of the ancient family of Pelham, which are displayed in serpentined and shell-scalloped cartouches; while the table-friezes are enriched with ribbon-guilloches that are cusped and trefoiled in the old English or Gothic manner. Chippendale featured this lozenged and trefoiled fret pattern in a 'Gothick' sideboard table design issued in his Director (pl. XXXIX).