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image XF73
Table, XF73, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century, mahogany and brass. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photograph: Hugh Kelly.

Table, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century

Mahogany with brass

Height: 71.5cm
Width: 126cm
Depth: 39cm

Museum number: XF73

Curatorial note

The top is the centre part of a dining table with reeded ends, with four slits in one side to receive tongues from a further leaf; beneath the top, on the same side, are two door hinges; on the other side of the table top an attached strip with plain ends with four circular holes in the side for the attachment of a leaf; this hybrid top is on a frame and legs from another table; this sturdy frame has two gate legs, which cannot open because of the door hinges fixed to the underside of the table top; inside the frame, on the same side as the gate legs are two brass bolts; the frame is on four plain square tapered legs

This is probably the ‘Part of an old mahogany dining table’ which is listed as being in the Monk’s Cell behind the Monk’s Parlour in 1837. It is listed as in the ‘small room’ which formed part of the Cell, which had at one time contained a bed. It is probably the ‘extra section of the dining room table on four legs,’ which is listed there by Summerson in his card index of the furniture, compiled in the 1950s. Although it is clearly a made-up piece, both sections of which have had more than one previous use, the reeded section of the top is a leaf from Soane’s dining room table (XF262) – it is the same width, 4 ft 1¾ inches but is narrower than the other surviving leaves. Its colour is much darker but this may be the result of its having been stored in dark spaces.

An item in John Robins’s bill for 23 December 1813 may be relevant:

A 4ft Mahogany Dining Table with one flap strap hinges & bolts made to join your old Dining Tables £4 Altering your Dining Table frames 2 pair of Brass fork fastenings & plates & screws etc. £1 8s1

The table may have been the response of Robins to a last-minute plea from his good friends the Soanes for some kind of table large enough for their first Christmas in their new home.

1 SM Archive XVI.A.4.2

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