The Edward Green parlour table, a masterpiece of the eclectic Elizabethan or Old English Art Furniture invented by the Norwich architect Thomas Jeckyll (d.1881 ), was commissioned for the ancient Yorkshire mansion named Heath Old Hall by the Wakefield industrialist and antiquarian Edward Green (d.1923). Jeckyll's Old Hall commission followed his fame in 1862 as the designer of gates shown at London's International Exhibition before being presented to Edward, Prince of Wales, for Sandringham Park, Norfolk. The stylish and heraldically-charged table incorporates a central Elizabethan black ribbon-banded plate or patera-medallion bearing Green's armorial stags enwreathed by his conjoined "EG" monogram, as featured in a calligraphic sketch, that Jeckyll lauded in September 1866 as "Chinese looking" (the sketch, now preserved in the Victoria & Albert Museums Jeckyll archive, is illustrated Susan Weber Soros and Catherine Arbuthnot, Thomas Jeckyll, New York, 2003, fig. 5-16). The table's trestle frame is raised on an arched claw, whose incised and folded Grecian ribbon-frets also display the architect's interest in Chinese and Asian ornament, such as Owen Jones illustrated in his Grammar of Ornament, 1856. Its truss-scrolled capitals are also conceived in Jeckyll's Anglo-Chinois style, and are imbricated with palm-foliage and dolphin carp scales; while Elizabethan spindled pillars harmonise with those embellishing a Jacobean hutch-like china cupboard that Jeckyll incorporated in the Oak Parlour's richly embellished buffet-sideboard (Soros, ibid, fig.5-20). While the table may have been executed by the Cambridge firm of Rattee and Kett, it is more likely that it was supplied by the celebrated Oxford Street firm of Jackson and Graham, following their meeting with Jeckyll in October 1866.
THE OLD HALL, HEATH, YORKSHIRE
The magnificent Old Hall collection of "Art Furniture", with its eclectic fusion of European and Asian ornament was a masterpiece of Thomas Jeckyll. Its design is partly documented by surviving letters and a quantity of Jeckyll's sketches from which his patrons Edward and Mary Green could make their choice. Spanning a period of ten years, the letters begin in 1866, when the industrialist Edward Green (d.1923) first occupied the mansion. Edward began his twenty-three year lease of Old Hall shortly after succeeding to the Wakefield foundry of his father Edward Green Senior (d.1865), celebrated as the inventor of "Green's Economiser' boiler". He married Mary Green, née Lycett, and together they carefully worked to restore the mansion, commissioning "Elizabethan" furnishings in an appropriate antiquarian, but novel fashion. Edward Green was created a Baronet in 1886 and in 1889 he terminated his lease of Old Hall and installed the furniture into the Ken Hill Dining Room.