Luxury Design, Past & Present
A French Neoclassical gilded walnut console table with a pair of entwined serpents circa 1875. The exceptional workmanship required to create the open twist seen here on this table is remarkable as is the excellent condition of the table. The top of the console retains its original "Breche de Violette" marble top known for its deeply saturated colour and veining. The walnut frame has two legs that face outward at a fourty five degree angle embellished with a central line of beading highlighted with gilding. The vertical sweep of the beading enhances the moulded form of both legs with its neoclassical profile. The legs both terminate in a superbly carved animal hoof adorned with a gilded surface that gleams with a reflective brilliance. The central shaft of the console table features a pair of entwined serpents whose bodies grow in volume as they ascend. Interestingly the heads of the serpents remain almost invisible as they are set directly beneath the top of the table. Instead the eye is drawn to the pair of boldly scaled rosettes that are also embellished with gilding. The contrast between the warmth of the timber and the glitter of the gilding creates a beautiful effect. This is a console table designed to be more slender as it reaches the ground and therefore is bolted to the wall to ensure stability. The marble top merely sets upon the frame and is easily removed when necessary. The unique subject matter of this console table reflects the high regard in which serpents have been held since ancient times as they foretell good fortune while the high quality of the construction is testament to the importance the original designer placed upon the role this console table played in a beautifully decorated interior.