Candle stands first appeared in England during the Restoration period, c1680. About 1735, these rudimentary tables began to evolve into graceful and useful “tripod” tables, with a straight, carved, or baluster shaft and cabriole legs. Tops were mostly circular, while some were square, octagonal, or “shaped”.
Small tripod tables of roughly this height were made as stands for tea kettles and their heaters, for the ceremonial Georgian process of “taking tea” – although no doubt they were placed next to drawing room chairs for other purposes also. Ince and Mayhew, and Chippendale, both included examples of this type among their designs..
The diameter of the top being much less than across the base is typical: it meant greater stability, and follows the proportions of contemporary wine glasses. The stem is complex, with ring turnings and two complementary spirally fluted knops. The knees of the cabrioles are covered with carved acanthus and the toes are moulded up into an elegant scroll. It is in superb original condition, with a finely patinated surface. The top is original – although it has been re-screwed at some point – and the only restoration that has been carried out is to the Gothic fret gallery.
As always with these sought-after little pieces, the quality of both the timber and the carving is exceptionally fine. The mahogany is Cuban – the very finest, close-grained wood, with a good weight, that allowed the crisp execution of the carving.