This mahogany extending Dining Table is an Imperial, designed by Gillows. William Burrows, a table specialist, was closely linked with the manufacture of the Imperial in 1804 and it was a development of Gillow's Patent Dining Table first made in 1801. Although Gillows made a number of tables to other designs, the Imperial was by far their most popular by their own admission as they informed a customer in 1829: We almost universally make them with the sliding frames and loose leave to fit betwixt the two ends and any portion of them may be used together, they are firmer and less liable to be put out of order than any other plan.
The pullout telescopic action by which the table extends is indeed very practical, giving both stability and ease of use. It can be set to take any number of the four replaced leaves, giving a variety of sizes. The width of this table can be considered large compared to most giving even further flexibility to the modern diner. Although the table is not stamped it does have the characteristics of other Gillows Imperials. The reeded edge to both the table boards and bottom of the frieze, the legs and the overall quality all suggest that it was from either Gillow's Lancashire or London workshop. Early 19th century.