Amongst the principal proponents of 'Elegant Parisian Furniture' during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was the business established by John McLean around 1770 on Little Newport Street, Leicester Square, moving premises to Upper Marleybone Street in 1790 and thereafter expanding to an additional space at Pancras Street until the ultimate bancruptcy of the company by 1816. The furniture produced by John McLean and Son featured rich timbers, namely rosewood, lavishly accented with metalwork and gilding.
The current table belongs to a group of at least eight games and writing tables of this form. The most widely recorded of this group is the labelled example supplied for the Earl of Morley at Saltram, Devonshire. Influenced by the designs of the French ébéniste Adam Weisweiller, the Saltram example has slightly different decorative features and is illustrated in G. Willis, 'Some Labelled Furniture at Saltram', Furniture History, 1966, pl.XVIII, figs. A & B. A further table, identical to the offered lot is illustrated in S. Redburn, 'John McLean & Son', Furniture History, 1978, pl. 43a. Another labelled example is illustrated in C. Gilbert, The Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, 1700-1840, 1996, p.316, fig. 599.