These 'Elizabethan' black and bobbin-wreathed tables were probably made for Lady Henrietta Charlotte Williams (d. 1878) (daughter of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, 5th Bt.) who, in 1843 married Sir Hugh Williams, 3rd Bt (d. 1876). They depict her family's seat Wynnstay, near Wrexham, Denbighshire and her husband's seat, Bodelwyddan, near St. Asaph, Denbighshire.
Their 'Elizabethan' style may have been inspired by her sister-in-law's furnishings at Charlecote, Warwickshire, which also feature bone-inlaid works by the same W. Roberts. In particular, they harmonise with the romantic black and ivory-inlaid seat furniture that had been acquired in 1837 for Mary Elizabeth Lucy's Library at Charlecote, Warwickshire. Mary Elizabeth (daughter of Sir John Williams, 1st Bt., and sister of Sir Hugh Williams, 3rd Bt. [q.v.] of Bodelwyddan) had married George Lucy of Charlecote in 1823. Charlecote, famed for its Shakespeare association, was also celebrated for a visit made there by Queen Elizabeth I, and it was on this tour that the Charlecote seats were reputed to have been presented to the Queen by the Earl of Leicester at neighbouring Kenilworth Castle (C. Wainwright, The Romantic Interior, London, 1989, pp. 208-40).
W. Roberts (d. 1874), who was employed by the Cornwallis West family as Porter at Ruthin Castle, also made screens depicting Chirk Castle, and Newlands (the latter was sold at Christie's New York, 21-22 January 1998, lot 342 and is illustrated in J. Ayres, Two Hundred Years of English Native Art 1700-1900, Alexandria, Virginia, 1996, no. 16, p. 66). The former is in the Cromwell Hall at Chirk Castle, near Wrexham, Denbighshire.