An exceptionally rare George III marquetry amboyna Pembroke table attributed to Henry Hill of Marlborough. The serpentine shaped top having butterfly shaped flaps, the marquetry top with finely figured amboyna. The front and back frieze decorated with floral inlay with paterae on either side. The turned tapering legs with fluted shafts divided by a gadrooned collar and standing on a plain turned foot.
Height: 28.00 in (71.12 cm) Width: 20.50 in (52.07 cm) Depth: 33.00 in (83.82 cm)
Width with flaps down: 20 1/2 in (52 cm)
Width with flaps up: 41 1/2 in (104 cm)
This George III marquetry Pembroke table of serpentine form is nearly identical to a table from Burderop, illustrated in Lucy Wood’s Catalogue of Commodes and was likely to have been purchased by Arabella Calley, who was a regular customer. There is a small group of tables by Hill all featuring this type of large scale parquetry, as well as a closely related commode in the Lady Lever Art Gallery at Port Sunlight.
Henry Hill (fl. 1740-1778)
Henry Hill was a Georgian cabinetmaker working in Marlborough, Wiltshire from the 1740s to his death in 1778. During his career Hill was prolific in the art trade as a cabinetmaker, decorator, auctioneer, and estate agent. Hill benefited from his location in Marlborough as it was a stopping point on the Great West Road point between London and the fashionable town of Bath. Hill advertised his services to include delivery to London at more attractive rates than the London cabinetmakers. One of his major clients was Lord Deleval in London as well as the 9th Duke of Somerset at Maiden Bradley, Paul Methuen at Corsham Court, and Henry Hoare at Stourhead.
Hill’s obituary in the Ready Mercury on 20 July 1788 read ‘On Sunday night died, Mr. Henry Hill, of Marlborough, one of the most eminent cabinet-makers and upholsterers in the kingdom; who passed through life with the strictest integrity, on the most benevolent principles; and with every disposition, the most friendly to human nature, advanced with happiness of his fellow creatures.’
L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, 1994, pp. 64-73, figs. 46-50.