This pair of elegant serpentined card-tables, veneered with finely figured and mirror-matched tops, are carved with flowered libation-paterae and reeds alternating with antique-flutes. Their 'Roman' frieze pattern is likely to have derived from the cornice of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina as illustrated in A. Desgodetz's, Les Edifices Antiques de Rome, 1682. During the 1760s, this temple, whose frieze of eagle-lion griffins evoked the sun and poetry deity Apollo, provided a popular source for furnishings designed under the direction of the artist architect James 'Athenian' Stuart (d. 1788), such as Lady Spencer's wash-stand table at Spencer House, London (P. Thornton and J. Hardy, 'The Spencer Furniture at Althorp - III', Apollo, October 1968, p. 267, fig. 2).
The tables no doubt accompanied a suite of French-fashioned chairs of the 'cabriolet' form introduced in the late 1760s, and advertised as 'Modern' in Thomas Malton's, Complete Treatise on Perspective, 1775 (pl. XXXIII, fig. 131).
The celebrated collection of English furniture formed by Eric Moller in the 1940s and 1950s was one of several formed under the expert, almost mythical, guidance of the furniture historian R. W. Symonds. Moller's collection formed the basis of Symonds' Furniture Making in 17th and 18th Century England of 1955. See also lot 14 in this sale, a giltwood armchair formerly in Eric Moller's collection.