BELLE ÉPOQUE ORMOLU-MOUNTED MARQUETRY INLAID ACCENT TABLE
France, circa 1890
Item # 905VHI31
An incredibly fine table of the Belle Époque period, this stunning circular gueridon is designed in the distinct and angular Louis XVI style with tight lines and tapered legs.
The surface of the top and around the apron is a complex pattern of marquetry inlays with blossoming flowers on leafy vines set in a repeating lattice-work of curvy panels. There is a diversity of woods and materials in the table that make it particularly compelling, a rich spectrum in the marquetry achieved by utilizing a variety of fruitwoods and exotic species of woods as well as utilizing stylistic cross-hatching, shading and staining to bring each to life. A bevelled glass top protects the inlays and allows the table to be used actively without concern for the surface.
Surrounding the top is a border of rosewood with an inset border of gilt-bronze acanthus foliage. The use of rosewood throughout the table is very effective, a nice choice over the more common mahogany woods used during the period.
The legs are notable with all four corners of the full length mounted with gilt-bronze, not only protecting the delicate veneer but also adding complexity and substance. They terminate in large acanthus sabots.
The underside of the table is finished with a plank of oak that seals the entire bottom.
There is a level and consistency of excellent craftsmanship in the Belle Époque period that is simply superior to the periods before and the century after - a coupling of the precision and delicacy of machine assistance with the patience and aptitude for excellence in the fine arts that allowed furniture of the most incredible quality to be brought to life. This was all but lost in the aftermath of the Great War and the mass-production that came with it.
This little treasure is an exquisite reminder of what is possible with extraordinary patience and generations of practice.
Measurements: 39" H x 25 1/2" diameter
Glass top with some scuffs/scratches. Surface with some color variations and toning to shellac around the sides and legs. Legs have been repaired a few times and remain slightly fragile. Minor chips and veneer losses around the sides (the top is in nearly pristine condition); some age shrinkage/cracking to the sides.