On March 2, Bonhams will be conducting a sale of 'Fine English Furniture and Works of Art' which will include a very special and historic piece - a carved and painted marble-topped George II side table. The piece of furniture has been housed at Brightling Park in East Sussex for over 250 years, and comes to auction for the first time.
The table is believed to have been designed by William Hallett, the celebrated 18th Century cabinet maker, even though he was not normally associated with white painted rococo-style interiors such as this.
It was originally commissioned by John Fuller for the drawing room of the house around 1747. Fuller's papers show six separate payments to Hallett, totalling £488, between 1746 and 1753, which presumably paid for the table. The piece remained in the family until Rosehill House - as the property was originally known - was purchased by Percy Tew in 1879.
The property was renamed to Brightling Park and the Tew family have been custodians of the estate and the table ever since. Photographic evidence shows the table still in the drawing room in the 1950s - 200 years after its creation. Sadly, the Georgian wing of the house - where the drawing room was located - was demolished shortly afterwards.
However, the table was saved and moved to another part of the house, where it has been kept until the present day. This historic piece of antique furniture is an unusual example of Hallett's work; it has a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 - 60,000 (approximately $97,000). Similar pieces created by Hallett can be viewed at the Foundling Hospital and in the dining room of Kirtlington Park in Oxfordshire.