A rare early 17th century walnut and marquetry draw leaf refectory table
Provenance: Earl of Derby, Knowsley Hall, Prescott, Merseyside. Purchased by the present vendor in the 1960s
The cleated twin boarded top with draw ends, above a geometric strapwork marquetry-inlaid frieze raised on large bulbous gadroon and vine-carved legs, headed by scroll-carved spandrels, joined by a canted-end shaped foot stretcher with conforming marquetry inlay, 217cm wide (closed), 406cm wide (open) x 94.5cm deep x 96.5cm high
- Reputedly given as a gift by the tenants of Charles Stanley, 8th Earl of Derby (1628 - 1672) on the occasion of his marriage to Dorothea-Helena Kirkhoven, maid of honour to the Queen of Bohemia and daughter of Jehan, Lord of Heenvliet and Baron of Rupa, and his wife Katherine Stanhope, in 1650.
The 8th Earl, in exile on the Continent when his father the 7th Earl was executed for treason as a Royalist in the Civil War, returned to England on his succession to the Earldom in 1651 and lived at Bidston Hall, Cheshire. At the restoration in 1660, the Earl and his Countess resumed residence at Knowsley Hall. In the 19th and 20th centuries, this table is reputed to have been situated in the corridor leading to the State Dining Room, built by Edward Stanley, the 12th Earl, on the occasion of George IV's visit to Cheshire in 1820 - 1821.
Dorothea, Countess of Derby, is reputed to have been the mistress of Charles II, and to have borne him a son - George - who was raised by the wife of a gunner at Windsor.
Dimensions when fully extended - 407cm long x 94cm wide x 75.8cm high