Drum tables, such as a Regency example on offer from S&S Timms at the Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair, were once known as ‘rent tables’.
Landlords used them for keeping accounts and receiving payments, which could be placed in one of the drawers and spun round to the other party by the table’s rotating top: a more gentlemanly way of conducting transactions.
The revolving top of S&S Timms’ mahogany example priced at £12,800 is set over four frieze drawers with bone-inlaid lettering – an unusual feature. These alternate with four false drawers. Drum tables remain popular, according to the dealership, because the striking shape is versatile, suiting the library as well as the living room.
‘Boutique but a good mix’
Running from January 9-12 at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, the Mayfair event is the first major London antiques fair of the year. Forty exhibitors come to sell furniture, fine art, clocks, silver, ceramics and more.
“Even though our event is boutique in size, we always work to ensure there is an eclectic and distinguished mix with many different disciplines for sale,” says organiser Ingrid Nilson of The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited.
Another exhibitor is Mary Cooke Antiques, offering a George III tea caddy also named for its drum-like shape. Produced for a short period during the early 1770s, drum-form tea caddies pre-dated the popular oval versions. The example in question was made in London by William & Aaron Lestourgeon, 1770. The body is engraved with an upper and lower band of foliate scrolls and flower heads and to the front is a shield-shaped coat of arms. Offered for £7950, it features its original key and lock mechanism.
Elsewhere at the event paintings and sculptures are available from dealerships such as Haynes Fine Art, Hickmet Fine Art and Paul Mayhew Fine Art.
Burlington, a specialist in 19th and 20th century British and European paintings, offers Springtime by Herbert Davis Richter (1874-1955). Richter studied furniture design at Bath School of Art, turning to painting later in his career. He was elected to various groups including the Pastel Society in 1916 where he later exhibited Springtime. The artist sold it in 1925 to a Mr Holdsworth for £50 – a reduction from £52. It is now available for £5950.
Also reflecting changing prices over time is the oil on canvas HMS Queen Elizabeth leading other capital ships of the fleet ‘in line ahead’, brought to the Mayfair event by Rountree Tryon. Painted by Charles Edward Dixon (1872-1934), it depicts the name ship of the five Queen Elizabeth class battleships ordered in 1912-13.
It was part of the East Mediterranean Squadron and the Grand Fleet during the First World War and was refitted when war broke out again in 1939.
The picture is believed to have been exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1915. It sold at Christie’s in 1964 for 30 guineas (£31.30) and is now available for £16,500.
Newcomers to the fair include Moonstruck Experience, bringing a collection of limited-edition perfume bottles from the Flacon Collection, and Robin Haydock, offering a c.1895 tiara necklace in 14ct rose gold with 494 diamonds.
Returning exhibitor Wimpole Antiques also offers a range of jewellery, such as a diamond, amethyst, emerald and enamel ceremonial necklace for a price in the region of £10,000. It is thought to have been made by a London jeweller for the 1902 coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra, who is depicted in a portrait on the necklace.