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Tripod Table
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Attributed to Pierre Golle, furniture worker; tea-drinking scene after Daniel Marot, designer
French, Paris, about 1680
Oak veneered with tortoiseshell, pewter, satinwood, mahogany, ebony, and brass; carved and gilded wood; gilt-bronze mounts
2 ft. 6 1/4 in. x 1 ft. 4 1/2 in. x 1 ft. 2 1/4 in.
82.DA.34

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The top of this small table folds open, revealing a circular scene of three women dressed in exotic costumes and taking tea under the pulled-back curtains of a tent. A monkey and a parrot perch in the branches of trees blossoming in the background. The marquetry tea scene and the table's sturdy tripod form suggest this table was used to support a tea or coffee tray.

Veneered with pewter and brass, the table's major decorative elements are of tortoiseshell; this form of decoration is known as contre partie. The table was probably made for the Grand Dauphin, the oldest son of Louis XIV, King of France. It prominently displays five fleurs-de-lis, the heraldic lily from the royal arms of France, and four dolphins, symbol of the Dauphin. At this date royal emblems appeared only on royal gifts or on objects made for members of the royal family.

Detail Views

Fleur-de-lis motif
Fleur-de-lis motif

Center of top of table
Center of top of table

Dolphin from top of table
Dolphin from top of table


Other Views

Table top open
Table top open

Table top closed
Table top closed