This handsome work-table of boulle-inlaid oak epitomises the British 'Grecian' style established in George IV's Regency by George Bullock (d. 1818), who opened his Piccadilly 'Grecian Rooms' in 1812. He followed it with the opening of his 'tasteful repository' in Tenterden Street, Hanover Square. In the year after the Battle of Waterloo, these rooms were lauded in Rudolph Ackermann's The Repository of Arts, for their splendid 'British Oak' furniture. Ackermann however regretted his columns were unable to 'afford space to notice adequately the merits both of the material and tasteful feeling with which the articles of Mr. Bullock's manufactory are composed'. Much of this furniture was richly inlaid to harmonise with the taste, led by the Prince Regent, for British textiles with elaborate passementerie. Ackermann illustrated Bullock's design for a related item of furniture 'for execution in our native woods, relieved by inlaid metal ornaments; a style happily introduced, both in respect of taste and true patriotism. There are no woods more beautiful, or better suited to the purposes of cabinet embellishement, than those indigenous in our own country' (ibid., pl. 82).
This table-top's beautifully figured oak tablet is framed by a 'Buhl Arabesque Bordering of Ebony' such as featured on Bullock's Grecian Sofa in Ackermann's Repository of 1817 (pl. 93). Its pattern of tapered columnar leg, banded with Egyptian reeds, is probably indebted to the architect Richard Brown (d. 1842), who collaborated with Bullock on various projects, such as the 1815 furnishings of Napoleon's residence on St. Helena, which was carried out on the directions of the Prince Regent (C. Wainwright et al., George Bullock, London, 1988). The pattern for this table's golden inlay of meadering English flowered foliage, features amongst the tracings of Bullock's designs preserved in the Birmingham City Museum.
The table top also relates to that of a tea-poy possibly supplied to the Portugese ambassador to London, Don Pedro de Souza e Holstein, 1st Duke of Palmella (d. 1850), sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 6 July 1995, lot 43.
Abraham Solomon of Great Queen Street, London was a furniture dealer, in the second quarter of the 19th Century (The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, p. 838).