A George III mahogany spider-leg table by Thomas Chippendale, 1768
A George III mahogany spider-leg table by Thomas Chippendale
the rectangular drop-leaf top with gateleg action, on a shaped mahogany frieze to each short side, on eight slender columnar form turned legs and stretchers ending in pad feet
70.5cm. high, 76cm. wide, 33cm. deep (closed), 81.5cm. deep (extended)
This is a fine and documented example of Thomas Chippendale's oeuvre. In 'country house' condition. The surface has been re-polished at some point - c. 100 years ago - and the central panel of the top is lighter in colour. This central panel has surface scratches, a cigarette burn and water marks. Chip approximately 3cm to one drop leaf at rule joint. One drop leaf with small puncture mark from replacement to screw to underside hinge. Small crack - approximately 5mm x 70mm - to drop leaf at rule joint which is secure. Historic excavation to underside of oak long rails to screw holes which were presumably never used as located below hinge points. Replacement screws. There is a notable fracture to one receiving block of gate leg and a further restored crack to columnar stretcher and a crude estate repair to a break of the same leg at the top with later glue, dowels, screws and filler and minor loses to timber at that site. The legs with scuffs and losses to polish. The pad feet with scuffs and scratches. The piece has real presence.
"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."
Employing superb timber, this 'neat' mahogany table is a wonderful example of Chippendale's utilitarian furniture which, through the sheer quality of materials and execution, is at once simple and distinguished. Chippendale supplied this, 'a neat Mahogany 8 leg Table of fine wood', on 9 June 1768 at a cost of £2 2s 0d and a further pair of '2 neat Mahogany Spider leg Tables of good wood', probably similar in form to those at Dumfries House from 1760 although not necessarily by Chippendale.
For a related example to the present lot, see the spider-leg table sold Christie's London, 31 October 2012, lot 79 (£13,750 with premium).