Table, France, Loire Valley, c. 1560 – 1580
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Table

Table

Walnut, pear wood
France, Loire Valley, c. 1560 – 1580

Dimensions

Height
83 cm; 2 ft. 8⅔ in.
Width
146 cm (closed); 4 ft. 9½ in.
320 cm (open); 10 ft. 6 in.
Depth
78 cm; 2 ft.6⅔ in.

Provenance

Private collection, France

Related literature

J. Boccador, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age a la Renaissance (Éditions d’Art Monelle Hayot, Château de Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 1988), pp. 122, 154-155, 265-276, pls. 203-214
J. Thirion, Le Mobilier du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance en France (Éditions Faton, Dijon, 1998), pp. 126-137, pls. 203-214
N. de Reyniès, Le mobilier domestique (Editions du Patrimoine, Paris, 1987)

This superb honey-coloured walnut table, dating from the Second French Renaissance, reflects the stylistic trend born in Ile de France, in the Loire Valley and Lyon, conceived of classical inspiration and architecture, harmonious and restrained in comparison to styles predominant in other regions in France and Italy. The design, not copied from any Italian model, is possibly attributable to Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, reference to tables of this type being found in accounts and inventories as early as 1560.

With seven feet connected by three central columns and a design more sober than the extension tables produced in Lyon or Burgundy, our table has a double thickness top and, at each end, leaves ('à l’italienne') which open to double its length. Highly elegant, this exquisite furniture can be used as a formal table as well as for daily dining, comfortably seating eight to ten persons.

Beautifully balanced and proportioned, with contrasts of colour and material, decorated with inlaid pear wood and rice paste 'pastillage' and foliage patterns, and in an excellent state of preservation, it is a rare original example of the skilled craftsmanship of the workshops of the Loire valley active in the second half of the 16th century.