A pair of George II walnut concertina action card tables, slight difference in feather banding
Lot 25
A pair of George II burr walnut crossbanded and featherbanded concertina-action card tables
Sold for £66,000 (US$ 109,684) inc. premium
Lot Details
A pair of George II burr walnut crossbanded and featherbanded concertina-action card tables
Each with a hinged rectangular top with rounded projecting corners enclosing later baize, four candleslides and four counterwells above shaped friezes on cabriole acanthus carved legs with scrolling flowerheads and claw and ball feet, 84cm and 85cm wide, each 41cm deep, 72cm high (33" wide, 16" deep, 28" high).

Footnotes

  • The Spains Hall Tables

    Provenance: Spains Hall, Finchingfield, Essex

    Possibly commissioned by Sir Thomas Dyer, 5th Baronet (1694-1780) and sold to:
    Samuel Ruggles (d.1764) with the purchase of Spains Hall, 1760.

    An almost identical pair of tables in mahogany and stamped 'LC' were sold Christie's London, 7 April 1983, lot 103. This model relates in the shaped tops and cabriole legs with claw and ball feet to a recorded walnut card table by Benjamin Crook. Benjamin Crook is recorded at The George and White Lyon in St. Paul's Churchyard from 1732-1748. The labelled Benjamin Crook table was sold Christie's, London, 15 April 1999, lot 107, had been in the collection of D. Griffiths F.S.A. by 1924 and was sold by his Executors at Christie's London, 10 May 1939, Lot 202 (also included in P. Macquoid and R. Edwards The Dictionary of English Furniture, London 1924-7, under Crook p. 155). The stringing to the top of these tables is very similar to that on the top of a George I burr walnut card table sold Christie's London Important English Furniture 17th November 1994 Lot 61. A group of the tables in the manner of Crook have shell headed legs; however these tables have acanthus carved cabriole legs with rosettes on the spandrels. A card table with similar legs was sold Christie's London, 18th March 2009 which was previously sold in an anonymous sale Christie's London 29th March 1962, Lot 52.

    It seems likely that the Spains Hall tables and the other pieces of mid 18th century furniture were commissioned for Spains Hall and have remained in the collection perhaps an argument supported by lot 27 retaining it's original upholstery. The furniture would have been passed from the Dyer family to Samuel Ruggles on the purchase of the estate. The tables date to circa 1730-1740 and therefore their manufacture could coincide with Sir Thomas Dyer inheriting the Spains Hall in 1736.

    Spains Hall
    Spains Hall is an Elizabethan country house near Finchingfield in Essex. The hall is named after Hervey de Ispania, the first family to own the house. The Estate passed to the Kempe family on the marriage of Margery de Ispania to Nicholas Kempe in the early 15th century. After the Kempe line failed, the house was bought in 1760 by Samuel Ruggles. Spains Hall remains the seat of his descendants the Ruggles Brise family. The current house dates to circa 1570, with earlier parts. The principal façade was remodelled by William Kempe in around 1585, and Dutch gables and silvered lead drainpipes were added by Robert Kempe in 1637. A park of around seven hectares surrounding the house was landscaped to a plan by Humphry Repton in around 1807; the new landscaping re-used a series of early 17th-century fishponds as ornamental water features.

    In the first half of the 17th century Sir Robert Kempe inherited the estate and was knighted by Cromwell in the hall at Spains. No son was living at his death so he was succeeded by Thomas Kempe at Pentlow. Thomas' grandson John died in 1726 and the Kempes of Essex died out in the male line. John Kempe's sister, Mary (d. 1730), took the property by her marriage to Sir Swinnerton Dyer, 3rd Baronet (1688-1736) of Great Dunmow in 1727 and with no sons in the family the estate passed to his youngest brother, Sir Thomas Dyer, 5th Baronet (1694-1780), (Essex Records Office, Estate and Family Records, Ruggles-Brise family of Spains Hall, Deeds, 1734-36, D/DRs/F7) who eventually sold the estate to Samuel Ruggles of Bocking in 1760.
    Prior to his death in 1736, Sir Swinnerton Dyer appears to have undertaken some works at the Hall, organising a conveyance of property and a mortgage agreement (Essex Records Office, Estate and Family Records, Ruggles-Brise family of Spains Hall, Deeds, 20 December 1734-22/23 December 1735 D/DRs/T3/5, D/DRs/T3/6 and D/DRs/T3/7) although this also coincides with the 1735 marriage of Sir Swinnerton Dyer's only daughter Anne who was to receive the vast sum of ten thousand pounds on this occasion. By 1760 and the sale of Spain's Hall various records state that the estate was sold to Samuel Ruggles in a rather dilapidated state. In the Ipswich Journal newspaper archive, there appears a record of a contents sale on February 25th 1761:

    'To be sold by auction on the 10th, 11th and 12th of March at Sir Thomas Dyer's, Bart, of Spains Hall, Finchingfield, Essex. Household goods-feather beds- blankets etc'.

    Although it has not been possible to trace a copy of any catalogue it seems likely that Samuel Ruggles would have needed to have purchase furniture for the hall and this may have been negotiated with the sale of the Hall or purchased from the contents sale as he was moving from a more modest village house on Bradford Street, Bocking (Essex Records Office, Sound Archive, 1985).
    The Ruggles family at Spains Hall

    Samuel Ruggles, the Bocking clothier and his eldest son both died in 1764 and his younger son John only came of age in 1769. The previous year a fire had destroyed the north-east wing of the Hall, which John then had rebuilt. He used Spains Hall as a bachelor retreat, and bequeathed it to his cousin Thomas on his death in 1776. Thomas Ruggles (1737?-1813) moved from Clare in Suffolk to Spains Hall in 1795 and began a series of repairs and alterations, including the building of a new south-east wing by J A Repton (1775-1860) and the development of the park. In 1807 Ruggles commissioned Humphry Repton (1752-1818) to suggest improvements to the gardens. Thomas was succeeded in 1813 by John Ruggles who took the additional name of Brise in 1827. John died in 1852 and left the estate to Colonel Sir Samuel Ruggles Brise (1825 – 1899).
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