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  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1930-1950 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass, with applied mounts and marble top, supported by a pine panel

  • Credit Line:

    The Bettine, Lady Abingdon Collection, bequeathed by Mrs T. R. P. Hole

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This stand and its pair (W.53-2005), are versions of designs first published at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Thomas Hope showed four variations of this tripod design in his book Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, published in London in 1807, although those are shorter, for use on side tables. Another similar design had already been published in France in 1801 by Charles Percier and Pierre François Louis Fontaine in their Receuil de Décorations Intérieures.

This version was clearly designed as a stand for a lamp or a small side table. The stands were owned by the Earl and Countess of Abingdon who married in 1928. Lady Abingdon inherited a collection of French Empire furniture formed by her ancestor Lord Stuart de Rothesay between about 1820 and 1840. In Britain in the 1930s, there was a great interest in English Regency furnishings and the Abingdons may have bought as fashionable items, tying in with the French furniture they had inherited.

Physical description

A stand of brass, with cast decoration, raised on a low, triangular plinth, with concave sides, supporting three lion paw feet, from which rise three square-sectioned uprights. The uprights are connected with pairs of thinner, diagonal struts, composed of brass fillets, cast at their crossings and where each is attached to the uprights, with circular bosses. The top of the uprights are formed of sphinx heads in brass, set proud of a circular frieze, which is decorated centrally between the uprights with mounts of anthemion flanking roundels. Inside the frieze, at the top, is set a circle of thin timber (stained pine), which fills the whole central area. It is supported by three angle brackets which are rivetted to the inside of the frieze, behind the sphinx heads. Each is attached with a screw to the underside of the wooden panel. This provides a support for the circular marble top of Carrara marble, with a moulded perimeter which extends over the heads of the sphinxes.

Place of Origin

England (probably, made)


ca. 1930-1950 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brass, with applied mounts and marble top, supported by a pine panel


Height: 87.6 cm overall, Diameter: 37 cm overall

Object history note

The pair of gueridons, found in store with FWK. Lost Nos., have been identified as part of the Hole Bequest. They are shown in the photograph of Lord Abingdon illustrated by Sarah Medlam in The Bettine, Lady Abingdon Collection The Bequest of Mrs. T.R.P. Hole, fig. 2. The gueridons illustrate the taste of Lord and Lady Abingdon in choosing Empire Revival furniture for their London drawing room to complement the Empire furnishings acquired by Lord Stuart de Rothesay.

Descriptive line

Stand (guéridon) of tripod form, in brass, supporting a slab of marble

Production Note

This form of Empire tripod was frequently copied in the late-nineteenth century and thoughout the twentieth century. Although it is difficult to date this piece closely, it was probably acquired by Lord and Lady Abingdon in the 1930s (they married in 1928), or even after the second World War. This piece and its pair are shown in their London flat in a photograph of Lord Abingdon taken in the 1950s. They were presumably chosen to complement the Empire furniture that Lady Abingdon had inherited from her ancestor, Lord Stuart de Rothesay.


Brass; Marble; Pine

Subjects depicted

Anthemia; Sphinxes


Furniture; Lighting


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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