The circular table, displaying a superb medallion of rich figured Egyptian alabaster, has a Roman-tripod frame of golden mottled maple that is ormolu-enriched in the French manner. Roman acanthus flowers its frieze tablets and wraps the volutes of its sarcophagus-scrolled pilasters. Its pillar, issuing from a hollow-sided 'altar' stretcher, is sculpted as Jove's palm-wrapped fulmen.
The pattern derives from the French 'table à déjeuner' and 'table à thé' illustrated in Pierre de la Mesangère's Meubles et Objets de Gout, l802-6. The model relates in particular to an 1805 French 'Dejeune Table' pattern of ormolu-enriched Egyptian trompe l'oeil porphyry that was issued in George Smith's Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1808, pl. 74. Such tables adapted for a 'breakfast set of superb china', were recommended by him as suited to 'Morning Breakfast Rooms'. Smith, who traded from Princes Street, Cavendish Square as 'Upholder extraordinary' to George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV, also published an 1805 pattern for a table, whose plinth-supported and sarcophagus-scrolled ends, were inspired by the celebrated 'Tomb of Agrippa', but copied from a 'Roman table' that the connoisseur Charles Tatham (d. 1842) illustrated in his Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, 1799. Another Smith pattern (ibid, pl. 74), featured a bolt-legged table, enriched with 'black' ornaments.
Amongst the leading London craftsmen working in this fashion were Morgan and Sanders, who established their Catherine Street showrooms in 1801, and whose work was illustrated in the early editions of Rudolph Ackermann's The Repository of the Arts, l809-28. Similar mounts to those on the shoulders of the legs on this table appear on a globe-shaped secretaire attributed to Morgan and Sanders that was sold in the Luton Hoo sale, Sotheby's London, 24 May 1995, lot 41.
A similar calcite top is used as the hanging below the mattress on the extraordinary early 18th Century sculpture of Stanislas Kosta on his deathbed in Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, Rome, which is alabastro listato da Palombara, named after the villa in Rome where it was discovered. A similar stone is also used, to great effect, in a monastery outside Granada, La Cartuja, on a pair of altar frontals and in profusion in the Sacristry.