A George II carved giltwood console table, circa 1730, in the manner of William Kent
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed
- 82cm. high, 127.5cm. wide, 50.5cm. deep; 2ft. 8¼in., 4ft. 2½in., 1ft. 8in.
the Brescia later marble top above a frieze with stylised foliage, supported by an eagle with outstretched wings, on a rockwork base and ebonised plinth
Supplied to the family of the current vendors by the renowned furniture historian R.W. Symonds in 1942.
This console table displays hallmarks typical to the designs of Palladian architect and furniture designer William Kent (1685 – 1748). Kent’s championing of the Neoclassical marked him as one of the greatest influences on British taste. In turn he was no doubt inspired by his tour of Italy, 1709 – 1719, where he spent much time studying the ruins of ancient Rome. Kent’s furniture design often drew inspiration from Roman mythology, the eagle in the present table meant to represent the God Apollo, or Grecian counterpart Zeus. One can see a clear correlation in Kent’s drawing in Alexander Pope's Odyssey (1725-26), Vol. I, book 2., p. 93 where Kent draws ‘Zeus’s warning’ (See S. Weber ed., William Kent Architect, Designer, Painter, Gardener, 1685 – 1748, London, 1984, p. 119, fig. 42). Another thought is Kent would have seen the eagle used regularly as a symbol for the might of the Roman Empire. Console tables with such a ‘Kentian’ design have appeared in the market; however the present work is notable for inclusion of sprays of acanthus leaves within the frieze and the rosettes carved into the mouldings. Possibly the most comparable table stylistically is owned by the national Trust and can be viewed Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood, Derbyshire, NT 652695.2, the Sudbury example differs very slightly for example the top moulding incorporates a Vitruvian design. It is interesting to note that the present lot was supplied by the respected historian R. W. Symonds who discusses the group at length remarking on their importance to furniture makers and Palladian houses, see Symonds. R., ‘The Vogue For The Eagle Table’, Country Life, 10 January 1957, pp. 52 – 52.