The finest craftsmanship is celebrated in an antique gaming table which could sell for £12,000 at auction in May.
The George II mahogany triple-fold harlequin games table, circa 1735, comes with gaming pieces, keys and impressive historical provenance.
The table, a masterpiece of ingenuity, is attributed to Thomas Potter, a master cabinet maker who operated from Holborn, London, in the mid-18th Century.
Potter worked with fellow master cabinet maker John Kelsey of Westminster. They supplied fine furniture to Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Barn Elms, Richmond, as well as Sir Justinian Isham, the 5th Baronet of Lamport, at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire. In 1736 he paid Potter £19 for a communal table for Lamport Church.
Potter supplied other items to Sir Justinian Isham and research is ongoing to verify the gaming table’s possible connection to him. It was sourced near Lamport.
The table opens up to reveal a host of game options. It’s easy to imagine it taking centre stage after an elegant dinner centuries ago. Its triple-folding rectangular top encloses a tea-table, backgammon and chessboard. A baize-lined table has four guinea-wells and a brass button release to either side reveals a rising cartonnier with pigeon holes, drawers and fitted book-rest. Folded away, it returns to being simply an elegant table.
The Thomas Potter gaming table, lot 403, has a guide price of £8000-£12,000 in Hansons May 6 Spring Fine Art Auction. Catalogue www.hansonslive.co.uk. To arrange a free valuation of furniture, email: [email protected].