Fine, Scarce and Important George II Triple Folding Mahogany Harlequin Games Table by Thomas Potter

* A true triple folding harlequin table, all too often others are called triple yet have only two actual folding leaves upon its base, this table is however a true piece of ingenious craftsmanship from the dawn of these tables which has three fully folding leaves and is fully attributed to the inventor of such tables, that being Thomas Potter, master cabinet maker of High Holborn, London.

Circa 1735-40 this George II mahogany triple-folding harlequin games/card table comes complete with its original two keys, one of which is an absolute work of art in its own right, as well as a full chess set, ivory die and shakers.

Measuring 78cm high, 80cm wide, 38cm deep [76cm when extended]

The three rectangular folding tops with rounded edges open out upon an adjustable height stay on the rear gate-leg where it can be adjusted for the different heights required by which ever leaf has been opened.

The Leaves:
The first opens to a plain polished tea-table, where upon this can be folded back and the second fold opened to reveal a fully inlaid backgammon and chessboard with ivory escutcheons, the third and final fold opens to a baize lined games table with four guinea-wells, by Pressing down upon the two original brass pulls located either side of the base it then propels the cartonnier effortlessly to it’s maximum height upon its four original steel springs located within the carcass.

The piece now transformed into a desk with pigeon holes, drawers for documents and inkwells and a fitted adjustable bookrest also has hidden away within the right hand side is a folding frame which fits into the ivory escutcheons of the backgammon table.

Standing on tapered legs terminating in pad feet with enclosed brass skirted castors.. Folded away it returns to an elegant table where its base moulding conforms delightfully to those of the folding leaves.
A very honest and true tour de force from the early Georgian period.

Thomas potter:
Master Cabinetmaker of Holborn, was known to have taken on as apprentice Michael Bonsfield in 1731 along with his son Philip Potter in 1746.

Potter was also known to work with master cabinet maker John Kelsey of Westminster, between them they supplied fine furniture to the some of the countries elite including Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Barn Elms, Richmond and Sir Justinian Isham the 5th Baronet of Lamport at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire.

Further information:
A design for a table of this form is shown on the trade card of Thomas Potter (see images above) cabinet maker of High Holborn, now at Victoria and Albert Museum (ref. no. E.2320-1889). An English table of this model is at Temple Newsam House in Leeds and is illustrated, together with Potter's drawing, in G. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, vol. iii., Leeds, 1998, pp.658-660. The name `Harlequin' was used to describe a table of this multi purpose form and derives from the master-of-disguises in 18th century commedia dell' arte theatre.

[For a similar tables sold see Christie’s]

Christie’s Stirling of Keir, Glasgow, 22 May 1995, lot 99 £25,300

Christie's London, 23 April 1998, lot 223 £58,700

Christie’s London, 20 November 2008, lot 149 £25,000

Christie’s London, 23 July 2020, lot 130 £23,750

Condition:
The Harlequin is in fine order throughout for around 280 years old, the table has benefitted from a recent new baize and polish by our restorer to bring out the depth of the wood. The baize is of the highest quality and produced using traditional methods. There are no losses to the inlays, both original locks are present and with keys and the castors are all original and present as are the springs. All in all a very genuine and scarce piece of early Georgian furniture.

Delivery:
White glove delivery service is available in Mainland U.K only, please enquire if you are outside of the Mainland

Fine & Scarce George II Mahogany Triple Folding Harlequin Table Thomas Potter

£17,750.00Price