A fine, early-18th century oak sidetable crossbanded with walnut

September 18, 2019 2:39 pm Published by

The plank top in two sections, crossbanded with walnut with minor replacements and faced with a moulded edge. The shaped frieze crossbanded with walnut and enclosing a single drawer faced with cockbead moulding and retaining original lock and handles and escutcheon bearing traces of original gilding. Standing on cabriole legs, with original ears, ending in pointed toes with original pads. The carcass oak. Excellent original colour and patina. English, first quarter of the 18th century. 50281069.

This is a fine, fluid piece executed with excellent proportions. The cabinet maker has harmonised the overall quality through his use of crossbanding and delicately shaping the frieze to create an elegance that is not often found in oak furniture. The colour and patina have matured with time to an excellent quality.

After the Restoration small walnut tables with twisted or baluster legs united by shaped stretchers were made in large numbers. In some cases there is a drawer in the frieze and the back stretcher is straight clearly indicating that they were not intended to stand out in a room, and ‘a little table with a drawer’ was a common entry in inventories of the time.

Pepys records that on September 13, 1665, when visiting Sir W. Hickes’s house in Essex, ‘ill furnished and miserably looked after’ the wind blowing into the dining room through an unlatched door, ‘flung down a great bowpot’ (bough-pot for boughs or cut flowers) ‘that stood upon the side-table, and that fell upon some Venice glasses and did him a crown’s worth of hurt’. There is probably no variety of furniture in which there is a greater diversity of treatment than in side tables dating from the first half of the 18th century.

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This post was written by joecollinson