This library table is likely to have been commissioned by Beriah Botfield Senior (1768-1813) shortly after his marriage in 1806. Its design reflects the transformation then taking place as the English library gradually transformed into a living-room. Instead of being of substantial kneehole-desk form, its design relates to that of the fashionable Drawing-Room centre table. Its leather top, which conceals hinged and ratcheted writing-desks music stands, is supported on a commode 'altar' pedestal, whose columnar supports terminate in golden 'griffin' paws in the Roman fashion promoted around 1800 by the publications of the court architect, Charles Heathcote Tatham (d. 1842). The library table closely relates to two of Thomas Sheraton's patterns. One was for a Drawing-Room 'Loo Table' that was published in his Cabinet Dictionary, 1803 (pl. 57), the other was for a circular-topped 'Library Table published in 1804 in his Cabinet Encyclopaedia, (pl. 8 of Tables). The table is ornamented, in the Egyptian manner, with reeded mouldings enriching its edge and pedestal columns, while the frieze is embellished with reeded and hollowed-cornered tablets. Reeds also frame the pedestal's tablets of richly-figured mahogany, and are shaped to the same form as the profile of the table top. Such ornaments of reed and hollow-cornered tablets also featured on another of Sheraton's patterns for a 'Pedestal' that was published in his Dictionary (pl. 59). Similar castor-concealing claws had featured in Sheraton's 1802 design for a 'Library Table' whose Roman-tripod pedestal comprised the mythical eagle-winged lion, sacred to Apollo, Greek god of poetry (ibid., pl. 55).
This library table was probably supplied by Gillows of London and Lancaster. Both Beriah Botfield Senior's brother Thomas, and his son's names appear in the Gillows archives and there is a sketch, dated 1814, for a mahogany bookcase designed for Thomas Botfield in the Estimate Sketch Books (no. 1966, Westminster City Archives). Like the library table, Thomas' bookcase also has hollowed corners on the panels, while the double reeding around the panels on the library table is typical of Gillows' work.