Important & Rare George III Harewood & Satinwood Pembroke Table Attributed To Mayhew & Ince


Please see below the photographs of the Important & Rare George III Harewood & Satinwood Pembroke Table Attributed To Mayhew & Ince, Circa 1780. One of the finest 18th Century Pembroke tables ever made. The colour, figuration of the veneers & patina on this glorious piece are truly superb, the mahogany lined drawer & leather & brass casters are a beauty to behold. It is a most exceptional table. The amazing quality timber, construction & design of this outstanding piece all highlight the supreme design & craftsmanship of its makers, Mayhew & Ince. The centre is set with a superbly figured West Indian Satinwood oval, crossbanded in well figured Kingwood, which is framed in Boxwood & Mahogany lines, surrounded by the most incredible Harewood veneers, the outer edge again crossbanded in Kingwood & lined with Boxwood & Mahogany with an ebonised moulded edge. To again highlight the superior quality of the piece & the Mayhew & Ince features, the veneers of the top have been laid upon fine Honduras Mahogany, itself a prized timber usually used as the exterior timber. With one bowed drawer & one faux bowed drawer, each with Kingwood crossbanding. The top of each leg inlaid supremely with Holly to simulate fluting, the delightfully tapered legs strung on each corner with boxwood and terminating in their original castors. One of the finest & most elegant of Pembroke tables ever made.

It is in excellent condition for its age. A Museum quality masterpiece from two of the most influential designers & makers from the 18th Century.

Harewood is a majestic veneer, it has a very uncommon silver-grey / green colour that is created by boiling English Sycamore veneer in a solution of ferrous ( iron ) sulphate. The process of treating this veneer with this chemical was time-consuming & expensive so only the most highly-figured quarter-sawn veneers were used. It is rare to find 18th-century pieces completely veneered from this highly prized veneer. When completed this magnificent table would have been a striking silvery green, with contrasting bright yellow from the Satinwood & a rich purple from the Kingwood crossbanding. Its wonderful mellow colour, glorious figuration and patina have developed over time. A beautiful sign is when you lift the flap you can see the green colour around the inlaid flutes where the light has not reached. It is quite simply a masterpiece.

During the latter parts of the 18th century, one of the most desirable and attractive materials available with which to create furniture was Satinwood. There were a handful of varieties, but the two most well-known were those of East Indian and West Indian woods. The West Indian variation, as used in this important table, is also known to be very strong, but with a finer texture than its East Indian counterpart. This wood is known for its highly distinguishable yellow colouring. It was not until the late 1760s that Satinwood was first recorded as being used as a material by furniture makers. By the middle of the 1770s, satinwood was becoming increasingly popular due to characteristics that the wood possessed, such as the high quality of appearance that could be gained on the finished piece and how durable the product is upon completion. These factors appealed greatly to wealthier aristocratic individuals.

Kingwood is a classic furniture wood, almost exclusively used in the period for inlays on only the finest of furniture. It is exceptional in its appearance.

In 1762 Mayhew and Ince published the “Universal System of Household Furniture” dedicated to the Duke of Marlborough. It was a folio of drawings and descriptions in both English and French that was produced in direct competition to their biggest trade competitor Thomas Chippendale. Chippendale’s “The Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director” ( which Ince had been a subscriber to ) had first been published in 1754 and circulated around the country to the mainly aristocratic subscribers. Fairly quickly it became the industry standard amongst regional and colonial cabinet makers. It established Chippendale’s name, not only as a manufacturer of furniture but possibly the first interior designer, advising his noble clients on their overall project, from the colour of their walls to their soft furnishings. Ince & Mayhew quickly realised the commercial benefits of producing such a body of work and quickly followed suit. Mayhew and Ince’s style was far more classical than that of Thomas Chippendale with elaborate use of timber, inlaid woods and marquetry.

They worked closely with Robert Adam, most notably for Sir John Whitwell at Audley End in 1767, for the Duchess of Northumberland in 1771, for the Earl of Kerry in 1771 and, most importantly for the Duchess of Manchester in 1775 creating the Kimbolton Cabinet. Ince and Mayhew also provided furnishings for Humphry Sturt at Crichel House, Dorset, where James Wyatt was providing designs for the interiors. Their furniture for Warren Hastings at Daylesford House, Worcestershire, amounted to £2,187. The firm was prominent enough to be commissioned to vet Dominique Daguerre’s bills for furnishing Carlton House, 1783–89, but none of their production for the Prince of Wales nor the Royal Family has been identified. They provided furniture in 1802 for Hester Thrale Piozzi at Brynbella. A suite of “Hepplewhite” chairs with the Prince of Wales’s feathers in the backs were provided for the Westminster Fire Office (1792), where they remain. The two partners married sisters, in a double wedding at the fashionable church of St. James’s, Piccadilly, 20 February 1762.

Approximate Size:

Width Closed: 20.25 inches

Width Open: 37.75 inches

Height: 28.25 inches

Depth: 28.5 inches

A truly magnificent & incredibly rare piece using the most important & striking combination of veneers.

Click here to see our Georgian Furniture Style Guide.

Further Reading

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