Gower House side table
Gower House side table, one of a pair, Designed by William Chambers (1723–1796), probably made by Sefferin Alken (active 1744–1783), Around 1774, Carved wood, gesso and gold leaf. The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Gower House Side Table, one of a pair

Designed by William Chambers (1723-1796), probably made by Sefferin Alken (active 1744-1783)

This table is a rare domestic commission by the architect William Chambers. It was made for Gower House in London, the year before he began work on Somerset House. The table was originally built for a niche; an extra pair of back legs was added when it was removed, prior to Gower House’s demolition. The tabletop is recent and imitates the original white marble top, now lost. In the gilt wood base, Chambers created a sculptural surface with subtle contrasts in texture to catch the light and shimmer of candlelight.

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Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)