In 2012 I was commissioned to build a pair of pier table tops to match a photograph. The client had period bases with modern marble tops that were inappropriate and I was hired to make wooden tops. There were a few details about the photograph that were different than many George III pier tables which piqued my interest. The pinwheel detail in the satinwood band, the volute details that sort of frames a palmette inlay connected by a string and the feather inlaid area at the back center of the table top. I did some research on the tops as I worked on the drawings and found that they bear an amazing resemblance to a pair of demilune commode tops made by Thomas Chippendale the "Younger" for Dumfries House in Scotland. Other details like the pinwheels and palmette decoration are found on the satinwood secretaire abattant Thomas Chippendale supplied to Harewood House, probably my favorite house anywhere.
The drawings were made directly on to a poplar board for two reasons. The first was that because the tops are ellipses rather than semi-circle, it was easier to draw concentric elliptical lines from the solid top than by traditional drafting methods. The second and more easy to explain, was that the client could place the tops on their bases to see how they would look ( they lived in a different state and the top could be mailed to them). I also made a color palate showing how all the different veneer would look under finish. The table was made of sycamore, holly, tulipwood, satinwood, rosewood, dyed green and black veneer. Additionally, almost every piece is sand shaded, engraved or embellished with penwork. There are nearly a thousand pieces of wood in each top.