Skip to content
Circa-1770 pair of Italian giltwood tables with brecce pernice marble tops, which hammered for £220,000 ($278,675) and sold for £288,200 ($289,060) with buyer’s premium at Lyon & Turnbull on March 27.

Pair of 18th-century side tables from Scottish country house exceed $289K at Lyon & Turnbull

EDINBURGH, UK – A pair of 18th-century Italian giltwood side tables from a Scottish country house hammered for £220,000 ($278,675) and sold for £288,200 ($289,060) with buyer’s premium at Lyon & Turnbull on March 27. They were consigned from Penicuik House in Midlothian, where they had likely been since the 18th century. Full results for the auction can be seen at LiveAuctioneers.

The pair of giltwood side tables, with their somewhat menacing dolphins or sea serpents carved to the frieze, do not appear in the Penicuik papers or invoices, but they were recorded among the pieces saved from a fire at the house in 1899. It is believed that the impressively thick 4ft 11in by 2ft 9in (1.57m by 82cm) brecce pernice marble slabs may have been part of the shipment of marble slabs sent to Penicuik from Rome in the late 1760s. The transaction was arranged by John Baxter the Younger, the son of Penicuik’s chief architect, John Baxter.

Following interest from all across the US, Europe, and the UK, and following a long bidding battle between the internet and the phones, the tables sold to an international buyer some distance above the £40,000-£60,000 ($50,665-$75,995) estimate.

Penicuik Estate, situated to the southwest of Edinburgh at the foot of the Pentlands in Scotland, has been owned by descendants of the merchant John Clerk (1611-1674) since the middle of the 17th century. Sir James Clerk, 3rd Baronet of Penicuik (1709-1783) built a neo-Palladium house there in the 1760s, appointing John Baxter as the architect and James Blaikie as his master carpenter.

In June 1899 a fire gutted the building, although most of the original furniture and works of art were saved. After the 18th-century house was demolished, the adjacent Georgian stable block was converted into the family home. As the property is now being used for leisure and hospitality, the Clerk family offered 69 lots of furniture and works of art at the Lyon & Turnbull sale titled Home & Heritage: Property from Three Historic Houses.