This elegant writing-table, veneered in exotic rosewood and mounted with ormolu roundels in the manner of antique cameos is representative of the French 'antique' fashion promoted by George IV at the time he was refurbishing Windsor Castle in the 1820's. The richness and splendor of the private apartments on the East front at Windsor was achieved under the supervision of the Royal cabinetmakers Morel and Seddon and reflects the King's varied tastes and personal involvement in the project. His own admiration for all things French first became apparent during the furnishing of Carlton House and is reflected in his purchases of Louis XIV 'boulle', Louis XVI and Empire furniture and objects for Windsor.
In 1826, Nicholas Morel was sent to Paris to obtain patterns and drawings for furniture and the French fashion for using 'antique' ornamental reliefs - such as a feature on this writing-table - was swiftly adopted into the designs produced by the Royal cabinet-makers. A dressing-table designed by Morel and Seddon for one of the Bedroom suites features similar trestle supports centered by classical busts framed within medallions (G.de Bellaigue, 'George IV and the Furnishing of Windsor Castle, Furniture History Society Journal, 1972, pl.29b), and these golden bas-relief medallions may have been supplied under the direction of Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (d.1854). Vulliamy, who held the Royal Warrant as Clock and Watchmaker, also dealt in decorative furniture and ormolu imported from France, particularly from the bronze manufacturing family of Delafontaine (G.de Bellaigue, 'The Vulliamys and France', Furniture History, 1967, pp.45-53). The putti, griffins and hippocamp medallions may well derive from ancient coins, but a definite source for these designs is not known. However, related 'antiquarian' circular medallions celebrating the Triumph of Love appear on a mahogany side cabinet attributed to Vulliamy, which was sold from the collection of Mr. Edward Sarofim at Christie's London, 16 November 1995, lot 10.
A virtually identical table from the collection of French and Company was offered in these Rooms, 24 November 1998, lot 75.