This is an English Regency antique rosewood games table attributed to Gillows, the shaped top with a central square slide, green-leathered on one side and inlaid with a chess board on the other, which opens to reveal a backgammon board with tric-trac peg holes, flanked by two hemispherical ends, each with a leather inset hinged, lockable top enclosing storage spaces, set above a panelled frieze with beaded borders, a single drawer on one side and a dummy on the other with six-point star handles and anthemion lock escutcheons, all raised on end supports braced with a central shaped stretcher and set on spandrel bases terminating in bold brass paw feet with inset castors. Original leathers.
The design for a rosewood sofa table in the sketch book of 13 April 1813, made for John Gladstone of Liverpool, father of the future Prime Minister, are published in Susan E Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, 1730-1840, Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge, 2008 Vol I, p.265, pl. 270. The design shows the sofa table and when the firm made the ‘sofa backgammon table, to suit the above’ (p267, pls 272 and 273) no expense was spared. With the extra tooled morocco leather for the interior backgammon board, the additional labour for that and inlaying the chess board and the 85 feet of brass beading at 3d per foot (as opposed to the 69ft on the sofa table) this version of the table, at £19 4s. 5d, cost a full pound more to produce. Sadly, there is no record of the sale price asked of Mr Gladstone.
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