Trestle Gateleg Table, Museum Piece English Jacobean Cedarwood, Panelled
- This table is the most original and superior example of a small surviving group of a rare, early model of gateleg table dating between 1620 and 1650.
- It is more sophisticated than the other tables in the group discussed below which are either made from oak and cedar as found at Ham House and in the V&A Museum or purely oak as recorded in some private collections.
- The most important feature of this table is the wide panelled ends, very few tables survive with this feature which is characteristic of this first model of gateleg table - Another important feature of this table is that it is made from cedarwood which is highly prized by collectors for its figuring and rich, lustrous colour and patina. Few large pieces were made from cedarwood as the trees take a long time to grow and are generally grown in parklands where they are prized for their ornamental quality so they are rarely felled. The cabinetmaker has used large cedarwood planks, which have come from a mature tree, to make this top. - The gateleg form is ergonomic with multi-functional versatility as a centre, writing or informal supper table when extended, an occasional table fitting into the corner of a room or against a wall with one flap up and a narrow occasional table with both flaps down. The rectangular section gates complement the geometric form of the table and purposefully do not detract from the main features; the panelled ends and the top.
- It has an exceptional, lustrous colour and patina and survived in superb condition most likely because it has by repute been in the same family ownership for nearly 300 years. The thick, oval, plank top is in three sections creating multi-functional versatility; a centre, writing or informal supper table when extended, an occasional table fitting into the corner of a room or against a wall with one flap up and a narrow occasional table with both flaps down. The flaps are made from three, boards and the hinges supporting each flap are original. The top is pegged into the base below.
The gates pivot on original 'H' hinges. The important feature of this table is the wide panelled ends, echoing the design of wainscot that would, almost certainly, have decorated the room that this table stood in, ending in trestle feet which are inspired by 16th century form and illustrate the transitional quality of this table. The base board and panelled ends are tenoned into the trestle feet. This table has developed an exceptional, lustrous patina over time, crusty in some areas and thinner from use in others. It is difficult to date precisely but was most likely made during the second quarter of the 17th century. PROVENANCE Private Collection by descent and by repute since the 18th century. LITERATURE The Ham house table is illustrated in Thornton, R & Tomlin, M. The Furnishing and Decoration of Ham House, The Furniture History Society, 1980, fig.52 and Bowett, A. English Furniture 1660-1714, p.107, plates 4:1,2. The Ham House table was one of fourteen recorded in the 1677 inventories. The V & Museum table of this form W.48-1910 has a replaced top and gates & was purchased from a West Country dealer T. Charbonnier in 1910 for £11 & is illustrated in Measured drawings of English Furniture, P.E.Marx and M.S.Taylor (London, 1931), as plate 14.
Height 74.00cm., 29.13 inches Length 103.00cm., 40.55 inches Closed Depth 43.50cm., 17.13 inches Open Depth 143.5cm., 56 inches
Jacobean (Of the period)
GOOD. Wear consistent with age and use.
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