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  • image XF88
Circular tripod table, XF88, cEnglish, unknown maker, early nineteenth century, mahogany. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photograph: Hugh Kelly

Circular tripod table, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century


Height: 68.5cm
Diameter (top): 49.5cm
Diameter (circular insert in centre of top): 7.5cm
Diameter (top of leg): 7.5cm

Museum number: XF88

Curatorial note

With a tray top with two bearers underneath and a tilt mechanism; the central baluster support with three reeded bands of moulding and three plain incurved legs; the top has a central circular insert in a lighter wood which probably indicates the original function of this piece as the lowest tier of a two or three tier dumb waiter.

This is the only surviving table that seems to match the description of ‘1 small circular top table 19 inches diameter’ in this Attic in 1837. Peter Thornton concluded in 1990 that it was likely that the table top was originally a dumb waiter (hence the raised lip); he noticed that the top has been nailed on but one of the nails is too long and has broken through the surface and felt that the lighter wood circle in the centre would seem to confirm his theory.1 John Summerson wondered whether the top was a replacement put onto the leg by Arthur Bolton: this seems unlikely.2

1 This was suggested to Peter Thornton by a visiting craftsman on 24/07/90.
2 Sir John Summerson, card index of furniture in the SM Archive, note on the card ‘?Top a replacement by A.T.B.’ [Arthur Bolton]. He also noted that the table was made of yew: it is now thought to be mahogany.

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