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Side Table
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Unknown
French, Paris, about 1730
Gessoed and gilded oak; brèche violette stone top
2 ft. 11 1/8 in. x 5 ft. 7 in. x 2 ft. 8 in.
79.DA.68

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The intricate carving of this highly sculptural side table combines pierced cartouches, crouching dragons with outstretched wings, lions' heads, and dolphins. Serpents shaped from carved and gilded oak wrap around the four legs of the table. While the carving is deep and pierced in many places, making the table appear insubstantial, it is actually very sturdy and well able to support its heavy marble top. The continuous flow of decoration is typical of the fanciful motifs that dominated the Rococo style.

The table was originally part of a set that included two smaller side tables; they would have stood in a townhouse's large salon,the wall of which may have been fitted with panels carved with similar decorative motifs.

Detail Views

Central cartouche
Central cartouche

Crouching dragon
Crouching dragon