A very fine Regency period rosewood and crossbanded sofa table attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London. Of particularly fine colour and patina throughout. With two frieze drawers, supported on splayed end supports joined by a high arched stretcher. The feet terminating in box castors.
Width with flaps up: 61 3/4 in (157 cm)
Width with flaps down: 39 3/4 in (101 cm)
Height: 28 in (71 cm) Width: 61³/₄ in (157 cm) Depth: 28 in (71 cm)
A pair of closely related rosewood sofa tables was supplied by Gillows of Oxford Street to Stephen Tempest of Broughton Hall in 1803. They were invoiced as: '....2 large rosewood sofa tables with drawers in do. and on claw & castors 14 gns. 29-8-0d'.
It was at the beginning of the 19th century that Gillows introduced a new design of table, specifically to be placed besides a sofa. In 1801, they advised their client Lady Gardiner of Clerk Hill 'the most fashionable form now used are what we call sofa tables', and enclosed a sketch to show how 'the 2 leaves fall down like a Pembroke table'. In July 1801, Gillows first introduced the sofa table to their Estimate Sketch Book. Sofa tables would be adapted to suit many purposes - for example as games, tea and writing tables. The fitted knob handles were supplied either in ivory, exotic wood or brass.
Susan E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730 - 1840, pp. 264-267