An extremely rare late-16th century, oak, monastery, trestle table

September 18, 2019 1:55 pm Published by

The 2” thick, oval top is, unusually, made from a single plank of oak. The table has a simple pedestal base and double stretcher in some ways reminiscent of the table illustrated in Cescinsky & Gribble, Fig 127, The Progression of English Oak tables. Cescinsky describes these tables as medieval in origin and often using a single plank of timber, either oak or elm, resting on the base. The obvious examples are the magnificent pair of tables at Penshurst Place in Kent. In later years these tables became lighter in construction and were still made in similar form well into the 19th century. Today these later tables are commonly described as pub tables with pine used in their construction for economy.

This oak table is curious in its construction in that there are two stretcher rails, the upper one inverted and exhibiting signs where drawers had been hung from the underside of the top. There are also signs that the trestle feet may have had strengthening brackets similar to that shown in the illustration in Cescinsky. At some point a crack has appeared in the top which has been strengthened with staples which look to be 18th century. There are two old patches in the top and a large knot. This table would probably have part of its life in a scrubbed form and thus the colour ranges from grey in the areas where the timber is still dry to a lustrous, honey where the oak has patinated.

REFERENCE : The Bruno Perrrier Collection, Ader-Tajan, 6th April 1992, lot 9, table de monastere, a rare 16th/17th century oak and beech, ‘Bigtourdane’ table. The name is given to tables made around Bagneres de Bigorrre, in the Pyrenees. The table was 361cm long and 100cm wide.
Sothebys, Haute Epoque, 29th October 2003, lot 109 is a related, oak trestle table described as 15th/16th century, probably Burgundian which was 292cm/9ft 7 in long and 89cm/2ft 11in wide and sold for £110,000.
Sothebys, Haute Epoque, 1st November 2005, lot 8, a French, Gothic oak trestle table described as 16th/17th century which was 273cm/8ft 11in long and 93cm/2ft.3.5 wide, sold for £ 48,000.

Categorised in:

This post was written by joecollinson