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This lovely little table was recently added to the Attingham collection. I say added, but there is an interesting back story. The table is thought to have once belonged to the 8th Lady Berwick, and is likely to have been housed in her bedroom at Attingham Park. It is a mahogany tray top night table, made during the reign of George III, and would have originally been used to contain a chamber pot.

The recently accquired George III tray top night table.

The National Trust head office keeps an eye out for items cropping up at auctions that once belonged to NT houses, and spotted this piece being sold through Bonhams.

Yesterday, I was given the task of cleaning the table in front of the public, enabling visitors to view the latest addition and hear more about it. I gave the table a dust with a cotton cloth and a hogs-hair brush, and then polished it with Harrell’s antique furniture wax.

Polishing the table

Whilst I was cleaning the table, I noticed a paper label on the underside. It read, ‘LADY BERWICK, ATT PK’, and in the cupboard was a 1939 programme from the Season of International Opera at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden! While we cannot be completely certain that the table did belong to Lady Berwick, there is strong evidence to say so!

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden programme

The rooms at the top of the house will be worked on in forthcoming years, and it is hoped that the night table will be displayed in one of these rooms.

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