Diameter: 39” 99cm
The information on the maker of this table is detailed on a handwritten note on the back of a piece of sandpaper. It states that it was ‘made at Mr Pots, Chenies St March 12, 1809. Repaired at Mr Backly’s of Torquay on the 24th June 1851 by D.Casey’.[sic].
This note was hidden within the base and was only discovered when the table was taken apart for restoration. If it is accurate, and there is no reason to doubt it, it poses the question: where did the information come from? It seems most likely that the restoration workshop was owned by Backly and the work was carried out by Casey. If so, how did Casey know the exact date of manufacture which was some 40 years earlier? One possible suggestion is that the information was provided by the owner or that he found a previous note or bill and handed it in whilst writing his own note.
The cabinet maker, Mr Pots, is certainly the Potts & Son of Chenies Street. In 1803 Potts & Son were listed by Thomas Sheraton in his Cabinet Dictionary as one of the leading cabinet makers, and fire insurance records indicate that the business was substantial.
Just over 100 years later the table had certainly changed hands as it was then happily sitting in the library of Lady Rootes at Ramsbury Manor and was photographed in situ by Country Life Magazine in 1961.
Dated 12th March 1809
A Private Collection in the Torquay Area of Devon.
The Collection of the Late Marian Lady Rootes and the Rootes Family.
Described as the most beautiful woman of her age, Lady Marian Rootes married the son of Billy Rootes, England’s answer to Henry Ford. She set about furnishing her homes with an eye for quality and with superb taste. Two examples of her discernment are illustrated in this brochure: the sensational mirror on page 72 and this centre table.
Lady Rootes’ father-in-law, Billy Rootes, supplied cars to the rich and famous. It was his car and chauffeur that were used by the Duke of Windsor upon his abdication. Later that same vehicle, a Humber known as Old Faithful, was used by Field Marshal Montgomery throughout the Second World War.
Country Life, 21st December 1961 where illustrated in the Library at Ramsbury Manor Wiltshire.