8760 An Irish mahogany side table by Arbuthot Blain, the solid rectangular top with gadrooned edge above a frieze centring on a large roaring lion mask with scrolling leaf pattern, the cabriole legs with shell and acanthus carving and ball and claw feet. With makers or retailers stamp, A.BLAIN LIVERPOOL
Width: 55 ins (140 cms)
Depth: 27.5 ins (70 cms)
Height: 33 ins (84 cms) £12,000
Arbuthnot Blain (Donegal 1796-lancashire 1868) was born in Ireland and had settled in Liverpool before the time of his marriage in 1839. He established his cabinet making, upholstery and timber merchant business at 35 Paradise Street in around 1835, trading continuously until his death in 1868.
The importance of Liverpool and Lancaster as the main receiving ports for goods from the West Indies allowed Blain access to the finest mahogany timbers the Carribean. Most of the stamped pieces by Blain from the first period are in mahogany and this reflects the strength of his market in England, particularly in the lancashire area, and in Ireland.
The style of this table is quite closely based on Irish side tables of 1740-1760 with an exuberantly carved frieze on a trellis background and with a fine lion mask at the centre. This indicates that Blain was familiar with the genre and probably trained in Dublin or Cork before crossing the Irish Sea. It is even possible that he acted as a retailer, buying-in furniture directly from Ireland for resale in England
Blain included his eldest son William circa 1865 and changed the business name to A.Blain and Son. After this point, the makers labels and stamps changed to A Blain and Son, Liverpool. This provides a useful date parameter for this table which can be included in the early phase of this long lived and respected business.