Provenance: Currently on loan to the Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts.
The circular moulded segmented mahogany top revolving and opening out to allow separate insertion of two sets of segmented leaves finished with brass tips. The leaves are different sizes allowing the table to be used at three different diameters. The table is supported on a baluster turned shaft and acanthus leaf carved down-swept legs with lion paw and leaf carved feet.
Closed without leaves 70″ 179cm
With smaller leaves 85 ½ ” 217.5cm
With larger leaves 99 ½ ” 253.5cm
Height 29 ½ ” 75cm
Robert Jupe patented the mechanism for his ‘Improved Expanding Table’ in September 1835 (no.6788), whilst in partnership with John Johnstone at 67 New Bond Street. The patent description read:
‘An improved expanding table so constructed that the sections composing its surface may be caused to diverge from a common centre and that the spaces caused thereby may be filled up by inserting leaves or filling pieces’
The firm at this point traded as Johnstone Jupe & Co, which appears on many of these tables made between 1835-40. By 1840 Jupe had left to form his own company at 47 Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square. Later tables with this mechanism are recorded with just Jupe’s name. Johnstone formed a new partnership with Jeanes, they themselves appear to have a claim on the patent as examples of tables with Johnstone & Jeanes are recorded.
There are a number of recorded closely comparable tables, with similar leaf carved quadripartite bases and lion paw feet. Interestingly, although they are all of the same design many are marked with differing combinations of the company’s names, as the partnerships changed within such a short period time.
- Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, fig 535, which was stamped Johnstone Jupe & Co and previously with Apter Fredericks.
2. Moss Harris Ltd, A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art, part III, London, n.d. circa 1930, p.431.