Rare Hepplewhite polscreen-table, tripod base with ebony stringing, c.1805
Rare Hepplewhite polscreen-table, the tripod base with graceful curved feet on ebonized ball supports, the hexagonal tapered column support with ebony & boxwood stringing, original ‘open’ and ‘closed’ bronze locks to the rectangular top, with raised moulding and angled corners to the rim.
42 x 70cm
Condition: signs of old restoration to the delicate legs, with iron supports now included underneath for strength.
Ref. Jourdain ‘Regency Furniture’ p68 for a very similar example, called a ‘side table’ and dated in the decoration on the top ‘1805’.
In Stevens & Whittington ’18th century English Furniture – the Norman Adams Collection’ there are a pair of ebonized & gilt pieces which relate to our example, as they feature the same unusual double-lock system to the top. They describe them as ‘Rare’ and explain the significance of the lock-up/lock-down mechanism; they are polescreen/tables. In their script they say “… the screens are hinged to blocks at the bottom of the stems and can be fixed in a horizontal position by means of catches in the manner of tilt-top tripod tables…. yet another tribute to the ingenuity of age. The proportions work most successfully.”
(colour plate 44, & p462)