9257 A REGENCY EBONIZED, BLACK LACQUER AND GILT BRASS MOUNTED CENTER TABLE POSSIBLY BY HENZELL GOUCH English. Circa 1815.   Measurements: Height: 29″ (73.5 cm) Width: 51 3/4″ (131.5 cm) Depth: 24 1/4″ (61.5 cm)

Of black lacquer, ebonized and gilt brass. The rectangular top, rounded to the corners, with a brass molded edge with wreath banding, set with three lacquer panels depicting stylized scenes from oriental life, inside a decorative border of repeating circles divided by stylized foliate decoration, the top above a plain frieze, raised on two lyre-shaped trestle ends, each with paired scrolling uprights set to the front with brass banding, flanking a turned upright, above a panel with brass edging set with stylized foliate paterae to front and reverse, each end, joined by a turned stretcher with brass banding, raised on paired curving downswept legs with brass banding to the face, each leg terminating in a gilt paw foot and raised on a brass castor.

Sold by Florian Papp, Madison Avenue, New York City, to a collector in the 1970’s.

The attribution of the present table is based on the existence of two closely related, lyre-end center tables which are both signed Henzell Gouch, and both dated 1815. One of these exists in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.1 The other was formerly owned by famed London dealer Temple Williams, and is illustrated in  Christopher Gilbert’s, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840.(Figure 1).

All three are sofa tables of similar scale, with lyre ends and central stretcher; their decorative schemes being black with gold on a Chinoiserie theme. Unusually, all tops are encased in fine gilt-brass molded casings. A further interesting aspect shared by all three is that the decoration of the showpiece tops is not repeated anywhere on the table bases.

Although no trade records have yet come to light it appears that Gouch’s work was of extremely high quality. Christopher Gilbert expressed the opinion that Gouch was more likely a decorator of regency furniture than a cabinet maker.

1 The Gouch table in the Victoria and Albert Museum is illustrated in: John F. Hayward, Tables in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (1968), Plate 42.
2 Christopher Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996), no. 407-8, p. 228.

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