The circular tilt-top centred by a medallion inlaid with a parrot issuing swirling radiating bands of various specimen veveers including palm, calamander and satinwood bordered by chequered banding and with a foliate-carved edge and satinwood frieze, above an ebony foliate baluster column carved with lion-mask and a tripod base modelled with goose heads. Bearing depository labels for T. JOHNSON & SONS, LTD / BELFAST
This table, with its carved ebony and exotic native timbers, is typical of furniture manufactured on the island of Sir Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in the Galle district. The Galle district of Ceylon was famous in the 19th century for its specimen-wood furniture. Tables of this type were supplied to British colonists in Ceylon and India for export to England. Their popularity was noted by the traveller H.C Sirr in 1850, who wrote that the Galle one could find those exquisite inlaid articles, which far surpass any specimen of Tunbridge ware that has yet been produced – ivory and various coloured native woods are inlaid upon the ebony and its designs are well defined, the effect produced is magnificent.
A number of tables similarly inlaid with exotic woods are known, including the earliest dated example, formerly at the Royal Commonwealth Society with a presentation plaque dated 1836.