An exceptionally large, 12-14 seater, estate-made, 18th century, oak gateleg table

September 18, 2019 2:40 pm Published by

The thick, plank top in three sections, with small tips on both edges. The hinges replaced. The shaped, frieze with two drawers, one support replaced, both knobs replaced. The double-gates unusually extending from the centre of the table, and opening on peg mechanisms, with the pegs replaced on the gates. Standing on boldly turned, barley-twist legs and stretchers, some bearing markings ‘I, II, III’ etc. The toes replaced. Excellent original colour and patina.

This table was made on the estate of this substantial house, which accounts for its exceptionally rare, large size. It has survived in excellent condition, which is largely due to the fact that it has remained in situ in the house until 1973, since which it has been in two ownerships, and the repairs and losses are consistent with use over time. The ergonomic design of gateleg tables is timeless as they continue to serve as dining, library and centre tables from the late-17th century when customs changed and familes began to dine privately in parlours rather than with the entire household. Although dry, the table has developed a good surface, to a degree which is rarely found on tables that were used for dining due to their heavy use. The surface at the edges has a worn, lighter patina which is consistent with being handled and used more than the central area which has a deeper encrustation on its surface. The overall proportion of the table is strong and elegant, with the thick, top balanced and supported by the shapely, turnings which flow into the feet. The cabinet maker has incorporated bold, barley-twist turnings in this piece, which were the latest fashion at the time. They give the table elegance and fluidity, and balance the overall proportion of the piece. Unusually, and unlike a traditional 17th century configuration, the gates to project from the centre which gives a more elegant form and makes the table more practical for seating.

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This post was written by joecollinson