Height: 28 ¼ inches (71.8cm) Length open: 11ft 1 inches (338cm) Closed: 54 inches (137.2cm) square
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This mahogany dining table is of rectangular form with rare hinged D-ends, swivel top and reeded edge. It extends on an ingenious and complex action, with various levers and locks, which accommodates five additional leaves. The frieze has outline mouldings raised upon four removable reeded, turned and tapering legs with the original brass caps and castors. A brass plaque inscribed ‘Stewart, Inventor and Patentee, 115 St. Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, London’ is attached to the cross bearer. English, circa 1820.
Height: 28 ¼ in (71.8cm) Length open: 11ft 1in (338cm) Closed: 54 in (137.2cm) square
Literature: A. Brawer, British Campaign Furniture – Elegance under Canvas, 1740-1914, New York, 2001, p.30 pls. 19-21 for a very similar dining table by Stewart. Here it is described as having ‘the elegance and strength that would have made it ideal for an officers’ mess about the time of the Battle of Waterloo’. When fully dismantled with the legs stowed away inside the D-ends, it would have been mere inches in height and 54 inches in length. A very similar example from Norman Adams Ltd featured in Christopher Gilbert’s ‘Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840’, figs. 883-885. Another was advertised by John Bell of Aberdeen in Country Life, 10th July 1958 p.94.
Charles Stewart’s cabinet ‘making and upholding’ business was located in 115, St Martin’s Lane from 1816 to 1820, when he moved to Regents Street. Although he clearly had a general cabinetmaking business, there is no doubt that Stewart’s contemporary fame rested on the designs of his dining tables. He was granted a patent in 1810 for “certain improvements in the construction of dining and other tables” (patent number 3339) and his advertising in 1813 stated that “a great variety of the most fashionable articles may be seen at Stewart’s Cabinet Warehouse, 115 St Martin’s Lane, particularly his much approved Patent Dining Tables, which far surpass any thing of the kind ever offered to public notice”.
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A George IV campaign dining table by Charles Stewart with five additional leaves