attributed to Gerrit Jensen (fl.c.1680 – London 1715)
circa 1672 - circa 1683
Oak and pine veneered with walnut, ebony, fruitwood, ivory and stained horn marquetry, brass mounted
76 x 96 x 64 cm
Place of origin
LondonOrder this image
Ham House, Surrey
A table, or side table, circa 1675, possibly by Gerrit Jensen, pine and oak carcass, ebonised and veneered with floral marquetry including ivory and stained horn. The top with a chevron-patterned outer border and a broad band with floral branches framing a central panel with a vase of flowers on a scrolling base surrounded by a butterfly, a snail and birds. The frieze decorated with scrolling flowers to the sides and front, opening with a long drawer mounted with two brass handles with star-shaped backplates. The spirally turned legs headed by turned rings and terminated with cylindrical lower sections veneered with floral marquetry, joined by a serpentine stretcher decorated with similar marquetry, on ball feet. The legs and the marquetry composition of the top panel with the vase raised on a plinth issuing scrolls are very close to Parisian prototypes, particularly to the work of Pierre Gole. Gerrit Jensen was supplier of veneered furniture to the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale as per records of payments from May 1672 until October 1683. Two comparable marquetry tables, a mirror and a cabinet at Ham are also thought to be his work ( NT 1139923,NT 1139568, NT 1139551 & NT 1140106). Gerrit Jensen most probably came from Holland and settled in London before 1667. He is known to have supplied fine marquetry furniture to the court and prestigious patrons from the 1680s. In 1670s floral marquetry was a novelty and according to Reinier Baarsen this furniture at Ham suggests that floral marquetry was the speciality with which Jensen conquered the London clientele a few years later. Most likely a Dutch-born cabinet maker, he would have brought the art of floral marquetry with him, introducing this technique in England such as Cornelius Gole, following Pierre Gole (c.1620-1685) in Paris and Leonardo van der Vinne (active c.1659-1713) in Florence.
This table tentatively identified by Peter Thornton with an entry in the Ham House's 1683 inventory where it would have been en suite with cabinet (NT 1140106), in Lady Maynard's Bedchamber: "One Cabinet, glasse [,] table and stands of Inlaid wood". Acquired in 1948 by HM Government when Sir Lyonel, 4th Bt (1854 – 1952) and Sir Cecil Tollemache, 5th Bt (1886 – 1969) presented Ham House to the National Trust, and entrusted to the care of the Victoria & Albert Museum, until 1990, when returned to the care of the National Trust, and to which ownership was transferred in 2002.
Makers and roles
attributed to Gerrit Jensen (fl.c.1680 – London 1715), cabinetmaker
Baarsen 2013: Reinier Baarsen, 'Seventeenth-Century European Cabinet-Making at Ham House' in Christopher Rowell (ed.), Ham House 400 Years of Collecting and Patronage, Yale, 2013, pp.194-203, p.199