Side Table: From Longford Castle Wiltshire by curry15 on Flickr.
The central mask, acanthus scrolls and leafy swags are standard Palladian motifs. But the choice of foxes (rather than classical lions or eagles) as supporters in unusual. Together with the central mask of Diana, Roman goddess of hunting they show that the table must have been intended for a room with a strong hunting theme.
This table support is carved and painted to imitate sculpture in marble. The waterleaf and bead and reel mouldings at top and base suggest that the table was intended for an interior with a strong architectural character.The top of grey-veined marble may have matched the marble pavement on the floor of the entrance hall.
This table was probably supplied by the cabinet-maker Benjamin Goodison, who was paid over œ400 by Sir Jacob Bouverie for furniture for Longford Castle in 1740. The table is similar in its bold architectural form to furniture designed by the architect William Kent, for whom Benjamin Goodison often worked. There are no payments to Kent in the archives at Longford, which suggests that on this occasion Goodison may have been working to the directions of his patron. V&A