Fine Regency Sofa Table by John McLean
A fine Regency period sofa table, almost certainly by John McLean,
London, circa 1815.
Why we like it
Early John McLean's furniture, of which this is a finest example, is super elegant with its clean lines and exquisite but understated ornamentation. We have sold a few pieces by John McLean before and are always happy to add further examples in our stock.
This elegant library table typifies the high quality work of the Little Newport Street and Upper Marylebone Street cabinet-makers John McLean and Son (active 1770-1815). The table's design displays the distinct fusion of Grecian and Egyptian motifs with early 19th century Parisian fashion. The firm advertised that it specialized in 'Elegant Parisian Furniture' and many elements of the table have a clear French influence combined with English restraint. The table is made in Grecian black-figured rosewood; the preferred wood of the firm for its rich qualities and dramatic contrast to the gilded wood and metal mounts. The most dominant feature of the table's decoration is the lavish use of metalwork in cast and shaped brass - with ribbed 'Egyptian' striations. These tablets, previously popularized at the court of Louis XVI by the manufactures of the ébéniste David Roentgen, were a favoured ornament of the firm and are also found on the legs of two sofa tables illustrated in S. Redburn, 'John MacLean and Son', Furniture History, 1978, pls. 41A and B.
An identical example was with Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd., 1977.
For further similar examples see Sotheby's London, 06 June 2006, Lot 349; Christie's London, 26 January 2011, Lot 412 and 24 April 2008, Lot 416.