Designer / Maker
Manufactured by Louis Constantin le Gaigneur
Ebony and brass, with leather top
28 1/4 in (71.1 cm) x 35 in (88.9 cm) x 25 in (63.5 cm)
English, circa 1815
Royal Pavilion, Brighton
‘The writing table conforms in style and size to one of the tables formerly in the North Drawing Room in the Pavilion. In Nash’s ‘Views of the North Drawing Room’ (Music Gallery) the table is shown on the left side in front of the sofa.
The North Drawing Room was partially furnished with boulle furniture by Louis Le Gaigneur,a French cabinet-maker who established the Buhl Manufactory at 19 Queen Street, Edgware Road, London, circa 1815.
The Prince Regent ordered pieces from Le Gaigneur for Carlton House, some of which were brought to Brighton to be used in the North Drawing Room; the pair of mazarin tables shown, centre, in Nash’s Views are now in Windsor Castle.
The North Drawing Room has as yet few pieces of furniture comparable to those placed in the room by King George IV, who assembled therein perhaps the finest group of furniture, mostly of French origin and inspiration, to be found in the Pavilion.
At this stage in the restoration of the interiors, the closest attention is being given to acquiring the most appropriate possible pieces.
This table also bears the label of the Conyngham family, giving it a particular significance for Brighton.
Lady Conyngham first met the Prince in the very early years of the 19th century; by the time of his accession to the throne in 1820 she was uppermost in his affections, and the object of much malicious gossip.
At one time it was said that the King only ever left his room in the Pavilion to walk across to Lady Conyngham’s house (now North Gate House) some seventy yards away. He lavished gifts upon her – even certain of the Crown Jewels.
Although there is no evidence that this table was among these presents it serves as a reminder of the influence of this formidable woman during the years of the King’s residence in Brighton.’
Quoted from The National Art-Collections Fund Review, 1986.