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Side table, XF152, English, unknown maker, c.1812, possibly designed by John Soane, mahogany and brass. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photograph: Hugh Kelly.
  • image Image 1 for XF152
  • image Image 2 for XF152
  • image Image 3 for XF152

Side table, English, unknown maker, c.1812, possibly designed by John Soane, mahogany and brass

Height: 83.5cm
Width: 122cm
Depth: 145.5cm

Museum number: XF152

Curatorial note

With a pair of gate legs at the front for a single flap extension; the underside of the flap with neat mahogany stops for the legs; reeding around top edges; the grained, fluted, tapering legs on brass castors; the left-hand leg with a brass ring at the top (perhaps a repair). The table incorporates a portfolio cabinet with doors, with recessed central panels, at either end (the left end opening for portfolios; the right end with a closed-off keyhole masked with a rectangular wooden insert); the doors at both ends of the cabinet are chamfered on the vertical edges; both doors have been reversed and once had hinges on the other side; a label fragment on the inside of the left-hand door is inscribed Breakfast Room / ..reas follows; the left-hand door has a brass lock stamped 63 / T & F LTD / LONDON and SECURE / 2 / LEVER. The front of the cabinet (beneath the flap) does not open but has three recessed panels; reeded moulding along the back of the table and the back of the cabinet has three recessed panels like the front; the cabinet is raised on two lateral bearers (perhaps later)

This cleverly designed piece of dual-purpose furniture has stood in its present position since at least the 1820s, (it is shown in the view by J M Gandy, 1825 Vol 82, 25; it is also shown in Britton and Pugin’s Public Buildings of London, plate 1) and probably since 1812. It exemplifies Soane’s need to combine the domestic with the professional in the design of furniture for the relatively small living spaces of No. 13 and he probably designed it himself. The back is fully detailed and so it must be assumed that the cabinet was to be regularly pulled out from the wall; the fluted legs would normally indicate a late eighteenth century date and so are perhaps slightly old-fashioned for 1812.

Literature

J. Soane Description of the Residence of John Soane, Architect, London, 1835, p. 53


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk