Gate leg table
Perhaps designed by Ernest Gimson (1864-1919)
Mahogany, with inlaid decoration
59 x 81.3 x 20.6 cm (closed)
59 x 81.3 x 85 cm (open)
English, perhaps 1890s
Presumably a patron with the initials ‘K.C.M.’; […]; JS Auctions, 24 September 2016, bt David Pickup; with Blairman, 2016; private collection
Fischer Fine Art, Truth, Beauty and Design: Victorian, Edwardian and Later Decorative Arts, exhibition catalogue, 1986, no. 152 (for a ‘tea table’ of the same design, without a monogram)
In the Fischer Fine Art catalogue, the table is described as follows:
Mahogany with ‘Rose and Briar’ design inlay in palm wood. Made by Kenton & Co. c. 1891. The attribution is based upon the close resemblance of the inlay to that upon a cabinet now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is also by Kenton & Co.
The cabinet on stand to which the catalogue refers (CIRC.404:1 to 4-1964) does indeed have flowers and leaves that can be compared to the Fischer table and the sample offered here. The V&A cabinet was designed by Ernest Gimson and manufactured by Kenton & Co. (1891-92) in 1891.
Moreover, the briar rose pattern survives amongst the Gimson designs at The Wilson (1941. 222: 692), see below.
Photographs of the 1891 Kenton & Co. exhibition at Barnard’s Inn do not show a table like the present example, although its design does not appear inconsistent with manufacture emanating from this group at this period; see Frances Collard ‘Kenton & Co’, The Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the Present Journal Number Twenty (1996), pp. 29-33.
Without further evidence, a firm attribution cannot be made for what would appear to be an early example of English Arts & Crafts furniture.