A WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED AND GILTWOOD EAGLE CONSOLE TABLE
A WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED AND GILTWOOD EAGLE CONSOLE TABLE
A WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED AND GILTWOOD EAGLE CONSOLE TABLE
A WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED AND GILTWOOD EAGLE CONSOLE TABLE
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Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fil… Read more
A WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED AND GILTWOOD EAGLE CONSOLE TABLE

CIRCA 1700, ANGLO-DUTCH

Details
A WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED AND GILTWOOD EAGLE CONSOLE TABLE
CIRCA 1700, ANGLO-DUTCH
The rectangular Lumachella nera marble top above a moulded frieze supported by an eagle with spread wings on a naturalistically carved auricular base, the frieze replaced and the wings altered, re-gilt and redecorated
31 ¾ in. (81 cm.) high; 45 ½ in. (115.5 cm.) wide; 22 ¼ in. (56.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired from Edward Hurst, May 2007.
Special notice

Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Crozier Park Royal (details below). Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot is transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection on the third business day after the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

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Benedict Winter
Benedict Winter Associate Director, Specialist

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Lot Essay

During the first half of the 18th century from the reign of Queen Anne to 1750, the eagle motif was extremely popular with furniture-makers, but it was only from c. 1720 that a design for a side table supported by a life-size eagle with outspread wings first appeared in Britain (R.W. Symonds, ‘The Vogue for the Eagle Table’, Country Life, 10 January 1957, p. 52). An early pair of eagle pier tables, in the manner of James Moore Snr. (1670-1726), is at St. Giles’s House, Dorset (ibid., fig. 6).

Eagle pier tables were particularly fashionable between 1725 and 1745 (ibid., p. 52). Neo-palladian examples are often associated with William Kent (c. 1685-1748) although only one design by Kent exists; for Alexander Pope’s edition of Homer’s Odyssey (1725-26) depicting two combatant eagles with outspread wings standing on a large pier table (ed. S. Weber, William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, New Haven and London, 2014, p. 422, fig. 16.12). Another ‘Kentian’ example is the pier table from the Blue Velvet Room, Chiswick House, Middlesex, c. 1727-32, now at Chatsworth, Derbyshire (ibid., p. 495, fig. 18.37). John Vardy (1718-65), author of Some Designs of Mr. Inigo Jones and Mr. William Kent (1744), also designed a side table supported by an eagle (RIBA36491).
The billhead of the Edinburgh cabinet-maker Francis Brodie (fl. from 1738) includes a related console table with an eagle support (S. Pryke, ‘The Extraordinary Billhead of Francis Brodie’, Regional Furniture, 1990, fig. 1). Eagle tables were an intrinsic part of Brodie’s repertoire (ibid., p. 86). In 1738, he made a ‘sideboard Table supported by an Eagle done in burnisht gold & a Marble Top’ for the Duke of Hamilton at a cost of £17 17s, and on 20 December 1739, ‘A marble table, supported by an eagle, gilt, in burnished gold’ for £16 for the Duke of Gordon; possibly the one in the Royal Collection at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh (RCIN 28203; https://bifmo.history.ac.uk/entry/brodie-francis-1725. Accessed 24 June 2021). Another table of this model appears in Brodie’s 1753 accounts for Lord Dumfries, at Dumfries House, illustrated Pryke, op. cit., fig. 12.

R.W. Symonds suggests that eagle pier tables were originally a British rather than continental phenomena (Symonds, op. cit., p. 52). However, the table offered here features a giltwood eagle with outspread wings on a carved auricular base; the base probably after a Dutch design. The latter is related to a design for a table and a stand, 1655, by Pieter Hendricksz. Schut, after Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, and an anonymous console table, both in the Rijksmuseum (RP-P-1893-A-17892; BK-1955-45). A comparable c. 1670 Dutch ebony table with gueridons en suite, for which a bill exists, is at at Ham House, Surrey (P. Thornton, ‘Furniture from the Netherlands at Ham House’, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, 1980, fig. 1).

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