A Regency amboyna and gilt library table attributed to Seddon and Morel, the rectangular
top set upon solid end supports with a turned, reeded and gilded stretcher and gilded
foliate bun feet, decorated throughout with rich amboyna veneers and gilt gesso edging to
the top and end supports. Inscribed in pencil with a sale date and ‘…Duke of Rutland’.
English, circa 1815.
An almost identical table is in the grand entrance of Buckingham Palace.
Footnote: George Seddon, 1796-1857, was the grandson of George Seddon of Aldersgate
Street (the largest furniture manufacturer of the 18th century). Nicholas Morel was of
French extraction and a protégé of the architect Henry Holland. Under Holland's direction
he worked on the decoration of Carlton House, official London residence of the Prince of
Wales. In 1827 Seddon and Morel formed a partnership to undertake the refurbishment of
Windsor Castle for King George IV, with an enormous budget at that time of £200,000.
Numerous examples of similar tables in this characteristic combination of amboyna and gilt
are illustrated by Hugh Roberts in For the King’s Pleasure, The Furnishing and Decoration of
George IV's Apartments at Windsor Castle, London 2001, figures 309, 380, 399, 407 and 413.
This commission inevitably encouraged other patrons, from the Marques of Stafford to
Liverpool Town Council and the firm continued successfully until Seddon devoted himself to
painting. He trained in Paris in 1841 and then travelled widely in Egypt and the Holy Land
with the Pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt. He had a picture accepted by the Royal