A superb quality pair of George III period pier tables, in satinwood and amaranth, polychrome decorated with fruit and flowers.
English, circa 1790.
A wonderfully elegant, subtle design. The minutely hand-painted polychrome decoration in the Pompeian style is simply exquisite. The cabinetwork is quite remarkable too; the slender structures are supported by the thinnest legs that we have ever seen with the tops resting on the most exquisitely sculpted satinwood balusters. Beautiful pieces to look at, useful and versatile in a layered interior.
The fashion for painted pier tables dominated drawing-room design in the late 1780s and early 1790s. These tables relate to a design published by Thomas Sheraton in his Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book, 1793, Appendix, pl. IV. A measure of the importance of floral decoration at this date is given in The Cabinet-Maker’s London Book of Prices, published in 1788, in which the frontispiece illustration is framed by ribbon-tied floral garlands.
In the text accompanying his design, Sheraton comments that ‘pier tables are … for ornament under a [lookng] glass, they are generally made very light, and the style of finishing them is rich and elegant’.