The combination of rosewood and gilt-lacquered brass, together with the use of rectangular reeded plates such as appear on the frieze and end supports are all characteristic of the work of John McLean.
The firm of McLean and Son was established in London around 1770, trading from premises in Little Newport Street, Leicester Square, until 1783. By 1790 the firm had moved to 55 Upper Marylebone Street, later expanding to occupy premises in both Pancras Street and Upper Terrrace and continuing in business until 1825. John McLean and Son were cabinet-makers of the highest calibre, patronised by such leading connoiseurs as the 5th Earl of Jersey, for whom they worked extensively at Middleton Park, Oxfordshire, and the Earl`s London mansion in Berkeley Square. In Thomas Sheraton`s The Cabinet Dictionary of 1803, McLean and Son are listed among the foremost English cabinet-makers of the period, and it is some indication of the esteem in which they were held that Sheraton himself made use of one of their designs for a 'pouch table' which he illustrated in the Dictionary (pl.65).
McLean`s son William took over the business in 1815 but the business declined and he was recorded as being heavily in debt and a bankrupt in prison in 1822 and eventually died a pauper in 1825.
For comparison a similar sofa table is illustrated in Simon Redburn, ' John McLean & Son' , Furniture History, vol. XIV, 1978, pl.. 40b, 41b., and 42a. See also Sotheby`s London, 7 July 1995, lot 139, and an almost identical table sold Bonham`s London, 14 March 2006, lot 100.
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