This handsome Regency table once stood proudly among the furnishings of 10 Downing Street, where it belonged to the great Whig prime minister, Charles, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845).

In 1830 it was recorded in an inventory of the house. Grey acquired the table from the previous inhabitant, Henry, 3rd Earl Bathurst, who almost certainly ordered it from the royal furniture makers Morel and Hughes in the 1820s. Nicholas Morel made fine furniture in partnership with Robert Hughes, and then with George Seddon. With Hughes he supplied George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), with items for Brighton Pavilion and Carlton House, and with Seddon he made furniture almost exclusively for Windsor Castle. The table has a rosewood top with an ebony border inlaid with acanthus and foliate scrolls. A frieze and shallow drawer with carved and gilded decoration runs beneath. The delicately carved legs take the form of classical columns resting on feet in the shape of acanthus leaves. After Earl GreyÂ’s death, the table passed via his daughter, Lady Mary Grey, who married Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax, to the Wood family, owners of Temple Newsam. It will now return to the Jacobean house to be reunited with a writing table by the same maker (acquired with the assistance of the Art Fund in 2006), which also belonged to Earl Grey during his time in Downing Street.

Artists include


Recorded in Inventory of 10 Downing Street, London in 1830; by descent in Earl Grey's family; by whom sold at Christie's, London, 2014; where acquired by the vendor.

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