A good, early-18th century oak side table

September 18, 2019 2:39 pm Published by

The top in two sections, with a moulded edge. The frieze with a single drawer, faced with a cockbead moulding, and original escutcheon and handles with a minor repair to one handle. The shaped frieze crossbanded. Standing on tapered legs with carved lappets, and ending in pad feet. The drawers lined in oak. Excellent colour and patina. English, first quarter of the 18th century. 4067861.
Carved lappets and tapered legs ending in pad feet are a fine feature which evolved and became fashionable during the first quarter of the 18th century. They can be found on many fine walnut tables of the period, and it is unusual to find this quality of design on a sidetable executed in oak. The cabinet maker has harmonised the overall quality of the piece 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