Two George II tables bring major sums in regional rooms

George II console table – £70,000 at Lawrences of Bletchingley.

Two English furniture ‘discoveries’ excelled against modest hopes at auction in mid-September. Top-end London dealers bought both pieces.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell

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Estimated at £200-400 on account of its tired condition, a George III green lacquer Pembroke table sold for £22,000 (plus 22.5% buyer’s premium) at Cheffins in Cambridge on September 11-12. It will require careful restoration to areas of extensive loss to the japanning but the faux bamboo and ‘lattice’ form and decoration mark it as extremely rare.

“It was in a ruinous state,” said auctioneer Luke Macdonald, “but it was quite surprising that such a fragile piece had survived at all.”

It recalls the green and gold lacquer of the famous chinoiserie bedroom suite by Thomas Chippendale for the State Bedroom at Nostell Priory in 1771.

The table came with good provenance: it was among the 200-plus lots from the Grade I-listed Mawley Hall and had been kept in the house since the 1960s.

The Shropshire country mansion was built on family lands in the 1730s for industrialist Sir Edward Blount and has changed hands only twice since – in 1962 and again in September 2018 when the guide price was £10m.

At Lawrences of Bletchingley on September 10 a Kentish console table improved on the estimate of £2000-3000 to bring £70,000 (plus 24% premium including VAT). Eight phone bidders provided the competition that produced a house record for the Surrey firm.

Dating from c.1735, the 4ft 8in (1.42m) wide table features a frieze centred with a boldly carved mask of Neptune, shells and other marine creatures. Chairman Robin Lawrence told ATG it had previously been among the furnishings of the Clermont Club private gaming club in London’s Berkeley Square and came for sale via the firm tasked with a refurbishment.

The slate top with a painted faux marble finish was old but possibly replaced while restoration would be required to some old repairs and the later paint and gilded finish.