William Trotter (d. 1833), Edinburgh cabinet-maker, descended from a long line of merchants, upholsterers and cabinet-makers, ceased trading as Young and Trotter in 1805, continuing in 5 Princes Street as sole proprietor until 1810, when he opened new premises in 9 Princes Street. Among his important commissions and one which is well documented, is his furniture made for the Library and the Gallery at Paxton House, Berwickshire, circa 1814, (F. Bamford, 'A Dictionary of Edinburgh Furniture Makers, 1660-1840', Furniture History, 1983, pls. 49 - 61). The furniture at Paxton is strongly characterised by his use of gadrooned mouldings; however he also supplied furniture of a more restrained nature, along the lines of the London cabinet-makers, to other establishments such as The Speculative Society's room, Edinburgh University in about 1822, (ibid. pl. 63) and Dun House in Angus, in 1928 (H. Montgomery-Massingberd and C. Simon Sykes, Great Houses of Scotland, 1997, p. 160-171).
The present sideboard is based on a design by the Prince of Wales's, (later George IV) upholsterer, George Smith, in his Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1808, pl. 92. The published design has acanthus-capped columns below the framed lion-mask and terminates in a circular moulding above the claw foot; whereas the present sideboard has Ionic columns with distinctive bands below, and the reeded column terminates in a plinth. These latter characteristics feature on a rosewood table made by Trotter for Paxton House in 1814. This slightly elongated and heavily moulded claw foot is also frequently employed by Trotter. (F. Bamford, op. cit, pls. 55B and 61).
A similar serving-table, but with claw-feet, possibly by William Trotter and possibly supplied to Captain Alexander Osbourne of the Edinburgh Volunteers, 40 York Place, Edinburgh was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 8 July 1999, lot 75.