A George II mahogany tea table

A George II mahogany tea table



A fine George II mahogany tea table, the rectangular top with projecting corners in highly figured solid mahogany opening to a book-matched polished top of superb colour supported by a single gate leg, the concave frieze concealing a single drawer with the trade label for Elizabeth Bell & Son at the sign of the White Swan in St Paul's Churchyard, London, standing on four elegant lappet carved legs terminating in pad feet.

Elizabeth Bell, cabinet-maker in St Paul's churchyard between 1740 and 1758, was almost certainly the widow of Henry Bell who worked from this address and whose label appears identical to hers, apart from the name. Their son is presumably Philip Bell, who oversaw the business by 1758. A mahogany card or tea table with rectangular top on cabriole legs bearing Elizabeth's trade label was sold at Christie's, 11th April 1985, lot 25.

The use of the highest quality Cuban mahogany seen in this table is exceptional. The curl is formed where a large bough formed a junction off the main trunk. To use solid timber would have been extremely expensive and wasteful, as several veneers could have been cut from each piece to make many table tops. The fact that the two pieces have remained completely flat and after over 250 years is testament to the level of craftsmanship and expertise shown by the cabinetmaker.

Trade Label:
Elizabeth Bell
At the WHITE SWAN against
The South Gate in St Pauls Church Yard
Makes & Sells all sorts of y finest Cabinet Goods,
All sorts of looking Glasses, Coach Glasses & Chairs
Of all sorts at Reasonable Rates.
NB Old Glasses now worked & made up Fashionable.


Height 72.5 cm / 28 "
Width 82 cm / 32 "
Depth 41 cm / 16 14"

circa 1745




G. Beard & C. Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986. C. Gilbert, The Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, Leeds, 1996.