Christie’s, Ven House, Somerset, 21-22 June 1999, lot 146
Although displaying the movement and fluidity characteristic of the French Rococo, the present table is a fine example of the South German production, spearheaded by the Belgian born, French educated designer François Cuvilliés. He was one of the leading German Rococo architects and designers in the first half of the 18th century who became Court architect in Munich in 1728. From 1738, with engravings by Karl Albert von Lespilliez, he published a series of 300 designs for ornament and boiseries and furniture, which became instrumental in disseminating his personal style in Germany. The present lot uses a number of elements which appear profusely in his designs, such as the latticework to the ground, or the leg profile with acanthus, but doesn’t bear Cuvilliés exaggerated intricacy of carving, resulting in an elegant and well balanced model.
In overall good condition. Some minor watermarks and scratches to the marble top. The gilding has some very minor chips and scattered age cracks and hairline construction cracks at the joints but these are commensurate with age and normal usage and can be left. There are some old very minor restorations to the breaks on the carved swags but these are very well executed and only visible when viewed internally. On the left side there is a restored break in an acanthus leaf resulting in a chip to the gesso and carving which would benefit from being touched up. On the stylised scallopshells in the centre of the frieze at the bottom there is a restored break which would also benefit from some retouching. Attractive detail to carving. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."