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Console table
  • Date: c. 1705
    1800 - 1900 (section below top, strip at back of top and base, all removed in 1985)
  • Medium: Oak, walnut, ebony, gilt bronze and première-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell. Later additions: oak, pinewood, brass, turtleshell, gilt bronze, steel screws and studding etc.
  • Object size: 100 x 90.5 x 63 cm, with additions
  • Inv: F56
  • Location: East Drawing Room
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Further Reading
  • The console table is closely related to an engraved design of a table in Boulle's 'Nouveaux Deisseins', published after 1707 but probably engraved earlier. There are differences between this table and the engraving, with the latter showing cloven-hoof feet and not lion-paws, a female mask in the centre and not Bacchus, and rams' heads at the top of the legs instead of lions' heads but eighteenth-century sale catalogues make it clear that this model of table was made in several permutations, such as with rams' heads and hooves, lions' masks and feet, a female or a male mask on the front, a marquetry or marble top, and with two or three legs.

    Some of the mounts on the table are found on other models of furniture securely attributed to Boulle, such as the lion-paw feet which are on the chests-of-drawers made for Louis XIV's bedroom at the Grand Trianon in 1708/9. The marquetry of the top has several figures in common with that on top of a side table in the Wallace Collection (F425). It has been suggested that both types of table were amongst the seven made by Boulle for the duchesse de Bourgogne at the Château de la Ménagerie, Versailles, in 1701, albeit those were of much smaller dimensions befitting the young duchess.

    Such a table would be fitted against a wall, typically between two windows. The surface is of Boulle marquetry, which makes it very delicate and less practical than a marble top, and marble tops were usually placed on console tables as the eighteenth century progressed.