A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50

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Lot 267TP
A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50
Sold for £ 62,500 (US$ 82,241) inc. premium

Lot Details
A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50 A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50
A magnificent joined oak folding-table, circa 1530 - 50
The icosagon folding-top of two attractive and heavy single-piece boards, with internal iron hinges and triple-reeded upper edge, enclosing a well with four dividing boards running front to back forming compartments, the ogee-profiled frieze carved with a pattern of rinceaux, spaced by leafy-carved baluster-mouldings, raised on three split baluster-turned legs, carved with addorsed pointed-leaves centred by a gardrooned bulb, and joined by a T-shape plain stretcher, the open top supported on a plain rear gate, neatly housed within a recess to the rear top rail and one rear leg, 85.5cm wide x 43cm deep x 83cm high, (33 1/2in wide x 16 1/2in deep x 32 1/2in high)


  • Provenance
    Judith Hamilton Collection, Boarsney House, Robertsbridge, East Sussex (see Lot 220 from the same collection)
    Sold Dreweatt Neate, The Boarsney House Sale, 18th September 2006, Lot 192

    Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture: The British Tradition (2016), p. 255, fig. 3:202a, photographic credit to this collection

    BADA, Two Ages of Elizabeth', The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, 2002
    The Merchant's House, Marlborough, Wiltshire, 2006-2018

    A comparable table possibly from the same workshop - with ogee-profiled friezes carved with rinceaux, a fold-over top concealing compartments, and legs with the same bottom-heavy baluster carved with an upright, pointed leaf above a knop or collar and a tapering, swirl-gadrooned bulb - was sold as formerly part of the celebrated collection of Sir Edward Barry of Ockwells Manor, Berkshire by Sotheby's at their New Bond Street Galleries on 27 November 1971. The table, then the property of Mrs S. H. Barnett of Claverdon Hall, Warwickshire, was described in the catalogue as French: its lockplate was 'in the form of a shield...pierced with the Arms of France and Brittany'. The table was dated specifically to the reign of Francois I, who ruled France from 1515 until his death in 1547, the same year in which his rival Henry VIII died in England. The photographs of the table in the Sotheby's catalogue are not detailed enough to show whether or not the lockplate was original to the Ockwells table. The table offered here clearly originally had a lock set into the front face of the front board - there is a void where it once sat - which was presumably covered by some form of lockplate, either of timber or metal, which is also now lacking, so whether or not this table was carved with similar arms is not clear. This table has been exhibited and sold before (see Provenance statement above) as English, dating to the reign of Henry VIII, but its similarity to a table bearing French arms suggests that it, too, may well be French. It may be significant, however, that both of these tables have been found in English collections which include a preponderance of furniture described as English.

    The predominance of rinceaux in the ornament and design engravings of this period - the second quarter of the sixteenth century - render the source of the decoration to the table's aprons or friezes difficult to trace with any certainty. Of note are the slightly bulbous or fleshy elements of the leaves and their terminals. An engraving on a dagger sheath by the printmaker Heinrich Aldegrever (b. 1502), published in the German city of Soest, treats the terminals similarly (Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum Number E.3315-1928). The leaves are very like those in the engravings printed in Nuremberg by Gilich Kilian Proger (fl. c. 1535) (see, for instance, Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum Number E.3905-1910). Another potential source, suggested when this table was last exhibited, was the work of Flemish refugee in England Thomas Geminus (1510 - 1562, whose given name was Lambrit or Lambert), which are Moresque in inspiration, and feature scrolling foliage and arabesques alone, just like the friezes of this table.

    The early, not entirely successful, bottom heavy balusters which form the legs are also typical of early Renaissance attempts at rendering Classical columns. An English bed-head of 1500-1550 in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum (Museum Number 834-1898) has end posts with similar stiff, sharply broadening leaves to the main balusters, and knops or collars spacing the more elongated balustroid sections. Similar balusters, with knops, and bulbs which may be gadrooned, flank the seat of the throne in which Henry VIII is seated on the obverse of the gold bulla with which he sealed the Peace Treaty of Amiens in 1527.
Auction information

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  1. David Houlston
    Specialist - Oak Furniture
    Banbury Road
    Oxford, United Kingdom OX5 1JH
    Work 01865 853 667
    FaxFax: +44 1865 372 722
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