A Walnut Butlers Tray on Stand

With the monogram of an Earl or Countess.

England mid 19thc.

 The double sided tray is supported on a bobbin turned X frame stand joined with stretchers. The top which has a gallery surround with in-cut handles, is centred by a carved and inlaid oval bearing an intricately inlaid coronet above an intertwined HS monogram. There are also burr walnut spandrels to each corner.  The underside has a baize lined top bordered by walnut with inlaid stringing which suggests a possible alternative use as a games table.

 Provenance:  An almost identical butlers tray, but with marquetry spandrels, bearing Queen Victoria’s insignia can be seen in the Royal Collection at Osborne House. The latter residence was acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845 and became their principal seaside retreat.  At this time a significant extension was built and necessary restoration undertaken. It is therefore very likely that Queen Victoria’s butlers tray was commissioned from Messrs Holland  during this process, as many related walnut pieces were supplied by  Holland to the Queen at this time.

 Given the close similarity of the present butlers tray to that of the Queen’s it is certainly by the same hand and likely a gift from Queen Victoria and Albert to a cherished friend or member of their entourage.

 Height 29”(73.5cm) width 29 ¾”(75.5cm) depth 17 ½”(44.5cm)



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