FINE GEORGE III MAHOGANY BIRDCAGE TEA TABLE
England, c. 1780
Item # 702ZBW11Q
A most refined and perfectly balanced tripod leg tea table of the George III period, the craftsman for this piece chose the finest timbers for it’s execution. The circular top is carved out of one solid, thick slab of mahogany. It was turned on a lathe to form the dish top profile, which was further refined by scratch-beading. Under the top slab of mahogany are two battens screwed in on either side of the birdcage structure, which is crafted of two squares of mahogany locked together with four balusters that were turned to a pattern that matches the array of rings at the bottom of the table base. A wedge is driven into the top and bottom of each baluster in the birdcage to lock them in place without using nails. The structure allows the table to revolve a full three-hundred and sixty degrees to serve tea efficiently; a brass locking mechanism secures the table horizontally, while the table rotates vertically on dowels projecting from the head of the birdcage into the flanking battens, allowing the table to be presented most attractively with the rotated dish top in full view.
The cabriole legs have elegant exaggerated cyma curves that appear to float up to the baluster, where they lock into the column in large dovetails, secured with an original forged iron triform bracket affixed with original rosewood nails. A tight series of hand turned profiles are then crowned by a ring that seats an exquisitely carved spiral-fluted urn. The table base then rises via a series of ring bands to a dramatic column turning carved with linear fluting which is masterfully executed with great dimensionality. The legs terminate in rounded feet over a thin integral shoe emphasized with a scratch bead edging.
Measurements: 41” H when tilted; 27 1/2” H when rested; 24” top diameter
Refinished, surface in outstanding overall condition. Brass clasp on underside of top is an early replacement. Old repairs where legs join column. Minor dings, abrasions and wear as expected.