Description & Technical information

A George III satinwood and purpleheart ormolu mounted semi-elliptic side table attributed to Mayhew & Ince, the mounts attributed to Matthew Boulton.
Note: The table retains the original ormolu mounts. The toes are restorations.
The mounts on this table are of exceptional quality compared with traditional furniture mounts, and they show the superior craftsmanship of the Boulton manufactory at Soho House in Birmingham, England. Mayhew & Ince was one of the few cabinet-making workshops in London which frequently used ormolu mounts by Boulton. One example of such work is the well-documented pietra dura cabinet made for the Duchess of Manchester, now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 
Extensive correspondence between Boulton and Mayhew & Ince has been preserved, documenting the difficulty of manufacturing these high quality mounts in the 18th century: they were expensive and took a long time to produce. The guilloche band on the top edge of the table, for example, was produced in ten short sections, each about twelve inches long. The sections were individually chased, burnished and then joined together to produce a seamless finish before being mercury gilded. In this process, gold is applied in a mercury paste and the mercury is then evaporated over fire, leaving the gold adhering to the surface. The finishing touch is fine burnishing of some areas while leaving others dull, emphasising the three-dimensional effect of the band. The result is a dazzling gold band of fine guilloche pattern.
Dupplin Castle in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, was rebuilt as a country house between 1828 and 1832 on the site of the original castle, which had already been rebuilt several times since it was first constructed in the 13th century. The new castle burned down during Lord Forteviot’s occupancy in the 1930s, probably prompting a sale of furniture which included the satinwood table.
The more recent history of this table is documented in letters between John D. Rockefeller Jr., Rockefeller’s office and the antique dealers Mallett & Son in 1938.

Date:  circa 1775
Period:  George III
Origin:  English
Medium: Satinwood
Dimensions: 86 x 157 x 67.5 cm (33⁷/₈ x 61³/₄ x 26⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: John Dewar, 1st Baron Forteviot, Dupplin Castle, Scotland.
Mallett & Son Ltd., London, England.
John D. Rockefeller Jr., New York, USA.
Private collection, New York, USA.
Rolleston Antiques, London, England.
Literature: Photographed:
In situ at John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s residence, New York, USA.
Categories: Furniture