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John Biggs, the owner of J. Collins, can understand the bafflement because it is not the kind of thing any dealer comes across more than once or twice in a career. It is an extremely rare solid mahogany metamorphic glee table dating from around 1800, 3ft 71/2in (1.11m) maximum height and 2ft (61cm) square.
Glee singing and glee clubs, which involved a group of males singing popular songs unaccompanied, rather in the manner of the later barber shop quartets, were popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
There were glee clubs in most major cities. Indeed, the Prince Regent himself was a great fan of this form of entertainment and such quality tables as this would be found in the homes of gentlemen where three or four male singers would perform.
The square top has a hinged envelope flap to each side fitted with a removable rest, and two folding brass arms to hold the score or song sheet, with an adjustable brass candlestick and circular drip pan to each corner.
There is probably a limited demand for glee tables these days, but for those who are after a truly singular piece of furniture this fits the bill perfectly. It costs £65,000 from J. Collins, 28 High Street, Bideford.