An exceptional George III golden faded rosewood adjustable reading, writing & drawing table
attributed to George Simson of St Paul’s Churchyard, London
design by Thomas Sheraton (1793)
The solid mahogany table top veneered in rosewood with boxwood stringing and inset with original crimson Moroccan gilt-tooled leather surface, the removable solid rosewood bookstop (shown detached in the 1793 Sheraton drawing) line-inlaid with boxwood and featuring brass pins which slot into the inset table-top collars creating a reading/paper ledge upon the adjustable easel surface, the easel top rising on a superbly crafted adjustable mahogany ratchet. Beneath the rising easel surface, a solid mahogany and rosewood veneered pull-out writing slide, inset with original crimson Moroccan gilt-tooled leather surface.
Three dummy drawers feature original twin brass pulls and boxwood diamond-shaped dummy keyhole escutcheons; the single functioning drawer with original brass key & working lock, the drawer-front veneered in thick finely figured and faded rosewood with boxwood stringing, the drawer interior crafted of solid Cuban mahogany with fitted compartment for quills, inks, writing implements & drawing paper.
The desk raised on elegant square section tapered legs delicately splayed outwards and outlined with boxwood, featuring pointed arch/ogee inlaid terminals and elegantly gaitered feet with boxwood dot inlays.
The faded rosewood showcasing glorious golden colour and patina throughout, the interior solid mahogany of the finest quality.
Rosewood solids & veneers, mahogany solids, drawer interiors & fittings in solid mahogany, boxwood inlays, oak & pine supports under the solid mahogany table top, two Morrocan gilt-tooled leather surfaces (likely original), brass pulls, brass lock & key
with Robert Dirstein Design Group (Toronto, Canada)
Designed by Thomas Sheraton in 1793 and executed in the finest quality timbers available, this multi-purpose reading & drawing table was crafted to be free-standing and seen in the round with all sides finished and inlaid with the same level of detail.
A George III Sheraton rosewood reading and writing table, George Simson c1795
Please contact Dealer for more information
Price upon request.
BARASET HOUSE FINE ART
According to Christopher Gilbert, the London cabinetmaker George Simson "apprenticed to Noah Chivers (who also used a label) in 1772 and became free of the Upholders' Company in 1780. By 1787 he was in business as an upholder, cabinet-maker and undertaker at 19 St Paul's Church Yard, where he continued to trade until 1840...Insurance records show that in 1792 he had taken over seven properties adjoining No.19...Simson's lavel has been found on well over thirty pieces of highly fashionable furniture often inspired by pattern book designs (he subscribed to Sheraton's 'Drawing-Book') or reflecting up-market Regency-styles. A lady's secretary and cabinet of c.1795 veneered in satinwood and sabicu [and featuring Simson's characteristic Pointed Ogee & Dot inlay to the legs] is of particular interest because it relates closely to the well known family of secretaire and dressing cabinets incorporating clocks and automatic organs from Weeks' Museum of mechanical curiousities in the Haymarket, permitting attribution of this celebrated group [the so-called 'Weeks' Cabinets'] to Simson on the basis of stylistic analogy."
References / Comparable examples:
Bonhams (London) 26 Sept 1991, lot 80 "A George III mahogany and rosewood banded Pembroke table by George Simson, with rounded leaves, on square tapering legs headed by satinwood tablets, outlined overall in boxwood stringing, the drawer with George Simson's trade label".
Christie's (London) 17 October 2017, lot 601, described as "A George III laquered brass-mounted satinwood, sabicu and tulipewood secretaire and dressing-cabinet, the case attributed to George Simson, retailed by the Thomas Weeks Museum, London, circa 1800".
Christie's (London) 04 Oct 2012, lot 346, "A kingwood sofa table by George Simson".
American Art Association, Anderson Galleries (New York) 08 December 1921, lot 333 "Rare inlaid mahogany writing table, English, 18th century, made by George Simson, a famous London cabinet maker, of St. Paul's Churchyard, London. Molded oblong, hinged top with supporting quadrant. Interior fitted with writing slide covered with original green baize, and varied compartments. On square tapering legs."
Mr. Gilbert illustrates a number of labelled examples of Simson's work in 'Marked London Furniture' (1996) which furthers the attribution of the present reading & writing table on stylistic grounds, including: ilustration no.840 'George Simson: lady's secretary and cabinet, sabicu and satinwood, c.1795-1800', ilustration no.841 'George Simson: secretaire bookcase, satinwood c.1800', illustration no.851 'George Simson: Pembroke table, mahogany with rosewood crossbanding and satinwood inlay, c.1800, and illustration no.861 'George Simson: sofa table, kingwood with burr yew banding and inlay, c.1820'.
Ref: Gilbert, Christopher. Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (London: Furniture History Society) 1996, p.50.
POINTED OGEE & DOT INLAY
The feature of pointed inlaid line arches surmounted by a dot on the upper portion of the tapering legs is a re-current feature on labelled pieces by George Simson including a labelled Pembroke table, sold Bonhams, London, 26 September 1991, lot 80.
A crossbanded cylinder desk sold at Bonhams features his signature pointed inlaid line arches surmounted by a dot, as well as the desks original pull out writing surface inset with a ratcheted red tooled leather panel. This signature decorative inlay also appears in numerous Bonheur-de-jour tables by Simson.
Note: The decorative feature of inlaid Gothic line arches surmounted by a dot was also characterisically used by the Edinburgh firm of Young, Trotter & Hamilton (subscribed to Sheraton’s drawing book in 1793) though YTH used a less angular variation than Simson's, and very occasionally the Gothic arch & dot features in some tables by Gillows of Lancaster & London (subscribed to Sheraton’s drawing book in 1793).