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Antique Tables - Item 4164
Gothic Dining Table (Expandable)

4164-gothic-table

(scroll down for additional photos  -- difficulties of photographing with flash have accounted for the variation in hues, but the photo above most accurately reflects the color)
 
Item 4164 Gothic Dining Table (extendible)
Dimensions  Width 50; Height31 ; Depth 38 (in inches) Expands to 91
Wood  Oak
Country  France
Date  Circa 1890
Description

This small dining table is a triumph of Neo-Gothic design rarely seen in an extendable table.  While Gothic in its decoration, the overall structure of the table is more reminiscent of the library table popular in the Renaissance period (see, for example, Items 9210 and 9218).
As its base, this table has a stretcher in the classic, H-shaped form derived from refectory tables built for dining in monasteries - a simple, utilitarian structure comprised of two vertical members on pedestal feet united by a horizontal plank.
  The vertical members supporting this table's top are equally utilitarian but intricately carved using the vocabulary of Gothic design, incorporating open tracery and the diagonal design decorating columns of medieval cathedrals.  The virtuosity of the carving and its limitation to the base of the table lend a rustic or "Country French" flavor reinforced by the table being made of oak rather than the walnut reserved for more formal dining tables.
The top of the table is oak - both solid and heavy - and has been restored.
  Based on a draw-leaf design, permitting the extra leaves to be pulled from underneath and to lock in place, it extends easily to seat more guests or to provide additional work space.  Ingenious yet practical, this design also has the advantages that the leaves are not lost, as in the removable leaf design also used at the time.  In the draw-leaf design, the leaves are finished and meant to be displayed and enjoyed rather than the unfinished leaves meant to be covered by a table cloth.
Considering the more than a century that this table has been in use, its top is in remarkably good condition, with a rich patina and depth of grain.
 

Reference

Ader-Tajan, Collection Bruno Perrier Haute Epoque (Catalog for Sale at Auction on April 6, 1992 at the Hôtel Drouot, Paris); Boccador, Jacqueline, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, Editions d'Art Monelle Hayot (Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, 1988); Thirion, Jacques, Le Mobilier du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance en France (Editions Faton, Dijon, 1998); Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène, Le Mobilier Médiéval (Georges Bernage, editor) (Editions Heimdal, 2003)
 

Uses

While designed as a dining table and one that would work especially well in today's large kitchens, this table would also function well in an entryway, behind a sofa or as a desk.
 

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