This impressive side table is attributed to the celebrated Dublin cabinet-maker, James Hicks and Sons of 5 and 6 Lower Pembroke Street. James Hicks was born in 1886, the son of a chairmaker, Patrick Hicks. The family may have been associated with the Dublin cabinet-making firm of Michael Butler, by tradition living next door in Upper Abbey Street. Butler made some of the finest 18th century revival Irish mahogany furniture and dealt in antique furniture. James Hicks set up his own business in Lower Pembroke Street, in 1894, having worked in Tottenham Court Road, London. He described himself as 'Cabinet Manufacturer, Collector and Restorer of Chippendale, Adam and Sheraton furniture', and included among his clients, several members of the Royal family as well as the aristocracy. Hicks had many important patrons and President Cosgrave in 1928 gave the firm the big commission of fitting out the Dail and Senate in the new Parliament in Leinster House and work was done in the Four Courts. Sets of Chippendale style chairs were ordered for the President's house - Aras an Uachtaráin - and the Irish Embassy in Berlin. Hicks died in 1936.
James Levins Snr. was the finest carver at Hick's workshop and was responsible for the Irish baroque style mahogany side table with its grotesque head that was sold by the McGrath family, Cabinteely House, Co. Dublin, Christie's house sale, 5-6 November 1984, lot 18 (see introduction by The Knight of Glin, 'The McGraths, Cabinteely and James Hicks and Sons'). That mask is very close to the mask on the present table, also being flanked by C-scrolls, so it is probably that Levins carved the present lot. The table draws heavily on Irish 18th century prototypes, with its deep carved drapery-swagged apron and Venus shell badges, but is clearly of the revival period in its exageration of some of the lines (for example the oversized feet and narrow legs).