manner of Thomas Potter (1718-1759)
A rosewood and padouk harlequin tea and writing table, in the manner of Thomas Potter (fl. 1737), High Holborn, London. With a double-hinged top, with brass hinges, and below a mechanized rising section, comprising various pigeonholes, a writing surface and compartments. The friezes with a small central arch. Raised on turned and tapering 'club' supports terminating in pad feet. The mechanism rising on the movement of a catch.
This model of table, opening to reveal its raised 'cartonnier', features in the 1730s trade-sheet of the High Holborn cabinet-maker Thomas Potter, who in partnership with John Kelsey supplied furniture to Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Barn Elms in 1738 (C. Gilbert and T. Murdoch, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, London, 1993, p.19). This type of table was first made by Abraham Roengten (1711 - 93) and his son David (1743 -1807). Their success in cabinet making was based on the appealing combination of inventive designs, exquisite craftsmanship and complex mechanical engineering, paired with their excellent marketing.
Date of acquisition not recorded, but at Saltram by 1951 and accepted by HM Treasury in lieu of full payment of Death Duty from the Executors of Edmun Robert Parker (1877 - 1951), 4th Earl of Morley, and transferred to the National Trust in 1957.
Makers and roles
manner of Thomas Potter (1718-1759), cabinet maker
Stiegel 2007: Achim Stiegel (ed.), Präzision und Hingabe: Möbelkunst von Abraham und David Roentgen (ex. cat.), Berlin 2007 Koeppe 2012: Wolfram Koeppe (ed.), Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (ex. cat.), New Haven and London 2012