The land around Coollattin in the Shillelagh district of County Wicklow was acquired by the 1st Earl of Strafford (d. 1641) when he was Lord Deputy General in Ireland in the 1630s. Initially valued for its oak trees, the estate became in the 18th century one of the most productive agricultural areas in Ireland. In the 18th century the house was generally known as Malton House and Lord Fitzwilliam built a new house in the 1790s using John Carr of York (d. 1807), his uncle's architect at Wentworth Woodhouse from the 1760s. The house was burnt in 1798, two years after completion, but was rebuilt by Carr's assistant Thomas Hobson and completed in 1804.
The contents were dispersed at a Christie's house sale on 24 July 1980 and in the sale was a rectangular serving-table and pair of larger semi-elliptical side tables of this model. They had ebonised and parcel-gilt decoration and egg-and-dart edges on the top. All these tables were designed as part of a suite and have fluted friezes embellished with flowered paterae and tablets displaying unveiled sacred urns emerging from Roman foliage in the arabesque manner. Their palm-wrapped legs are carved with reed-enriched flutes.
Plam-wrapped legs feature on the dining-chairs designed by the architect James Wyatt (d. 1813) for Heveningham Hall, Suffolk, some of whose furniture designs were taken to Ireland by his Irish collaborator and executant architect Thomas Penrose and which are now preserved in the National Library (F.D. Ferguson, 'Wyatt Chairs: rethinking the Adam Heritage', The Burlington Magazine, July 1977, pp. 494-496). Indeed it is possible that these tables were designed in the Wyatt manner by William Moore (d.1815) who settle in Dublin in the early 1780s, after working for a considerable period for the London firm of John Mayhew and William Ince. Moore advertised in the Dublin Evening Post, May 1782, that as 'the greatest demand is for Pier-Tables, he has just finished in the newest taste a great variety of patterns, sizes and prices, from three guineas to twenty..' (G. Beard and C. Gilbert, eds., The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1986, p. 622).