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Table

Table

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1845 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Blake, George Henry (cabinet maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Walnut and ebony with marquetry

  • Museum number:

    W.20-1995

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The floral marquetry on the top of this table, and the use of ebony for the decorative balls and supports, are characteristics of the Elizabethan Revival style. This style, based on designs of the 1500s and 1600s, was fashionable for interiors and for furniture in Britain in the 1830s and 1840s. The table comes from Corsham Court, Wiltshire, a house originally built in 1582. In 1844-9 Lord Methuen, the owner, commissioned the architect Thomas Bellamy to rebuild the central block of the house with several Elizabethan Revival rooms, including a dining room and billiard room on the ground floor. The design and scale of the table suggest that it may have been made for a sitting room or bedroom on the floor above. Underneath the top it is labelled by the firm of Blake & Co. of Mount Street, London, cabinet-makers who specialised in floral marquetry.

Physical description

Rectangular top, with floral marquetry and, underneath, a frame in the form of a shaped moulding with ebony balls; single turned ebony support on rectangular plinth held up by four turned ebony columns, above an x-frame base with floral marquetry, on four circular feet.

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1845 (made)

Artist/maker

Blake, George Henry (cabinet maker)

Materials and Techniques

Walnut and ebony with marquetry

Marks and inscriptions

Methuen L - Loan
Inscription on the underside

Messrs. Blake, 130, Mount Street, Berkeley Square
On brass label fixed to underside of top

Dimensions

Height: 72.2 cm, Width: 58.7 cm, Depth: 43 cm

Object history note

This table comes from Corsham Court, Wiltshire, where Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen (1779-1849), commissioned the architect, Thomas Bellamy (1798-1876), to reconstruct the North front of the house in Elizabethan Revival style from 1844-9. A new entrance hall and staircase, dining room and billiard room were created on the ground floor. The table may have been supplied for one of the new interiors on the first floor as part of this extensive scheme. Two chairs in Elizabethan Revival style with a Corsham Court provenance were sold at Christie's, London, 15th June 2000, lot 184.

Historical context note

The firm of Blake & Co. specialised in buhl, inlay and marquetry decoration for furniture and appear in London Street Directories with slight variations of name. Robert Blake was first recorded in the Directories in 1826-7 as a cabinet inlayer and buhl manufacturer at 8 Stephen Street, Tottenham Court Road, premises which the firm retained until 1881. From 1842 the firm is listed at 8 Stephen Street as George Blake & Bros, and from 1846 as Charles, James & Henry Blake, buhl and inlay furniture manufacturer. In the 1846 Post Office Street Directory George Henry Blake, cabinet-maker and inlayer, is also listed at 53 Mount Street. There is no mention of a Mount Street address for the firm in the 1855 Post Office Street Directory where the firm is listed as C.J. & H. Blake, Buhl cutters, 8 Stephen Street, Rathbone Place. By 1866 the firm is listed as Charles Blake buhl & marqueterie furniture & inlaid flooring manufacturer & fancy cabinet maker, 8 Stephen Street.

Other surviving examples of the firm's skill at marquetry include a tray with Robert Blake's label (with Asprey 1976), a circular table designed by C.P.Slocombe and decorated by Henry Blake, completed 1865 (Alnwick Castle), and a piano by George Blake c. 1840 (Metropolitan Museum, New York)

Descriptive line

Table of walnut and ebony with marquetry; made by George Blake & Co. for Corsham Court, British about 1845

Subjects depicted

Flowers

Categories

Furniture; Household objects

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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