The sofa writing-table is designed in the robust Grecian fashion promoted by George Smith's Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1808. A library table of precisely the same design but executed in oak was supplied to John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford (d. 1839) for Endsleigh, his antiquarian 'cottage orné' in Devon (see 'Property from Two Ducal Collections, Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire', Christie's House sale, 20-21 September 2004, lot 849). The Endsleigh table was most likely designed under the direction of the architect Jeffry Wyatt (d. 1840) who was later to be elevated as Sir Jeffry Wyattville for his work at George IV's Windsor Castle. Wyatt provided designs for the principal furniture at Endsleigh, whose execution was entrusted to a variety of local craftsmen in Exeter, Plymouth, etc. Original invoices, held in the Bedford Archive and the Devon County Record Office, sent to His Grace The Duke of Bedford during the period 1810-1820, include bills from numerous craftsmen working under William Walker, the Clerk of Works at Endsleigh. From these invoices it has been possible to identify a number of pieces of furniture made by the local craftsmen; in particular by the cabinet-makers John Williams and Samuel Soper. While other craftsmen are listed in the archive, however, it has not been possible to attribute specific pieces of furniture directly to them. These include William Physick, Henry Spencer and William Martin (and family). Various shipments of furniture from London are also recorded during this period. It is possible to speculate that this delivery of furniture records a shipment from George Bullock's Grecian Rooms, Piccadilly, London.
Wyatt's interior decoration and robust furnishings at Endsleigh fused the classical, Elizabethan/gothic and exotic styles. The table's 'Elizabethan' spiralled reed and the serpentine profile to the trestle base combined with Grecian motifs, also appear in Wyatt's drawing for Endsleigh's hall chairs which are now at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire (the design reproduced for lot 875 in the Christie's sale). Similar dining chairs were executed by John Williams of Exeter for Endsleigh in 1814.
A nearly identical table was sold, the property of Michael Foljambe, Christie's, London, 13 October 1988, lot 202.