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Work Oak console table with a marble top

Department of Decorative Arts: 18th century: neoclassicism

Console table with four legs

© Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN / Thierry Ollivier

Decorative Arts
18th century: neoclassicism

Author(s):
Voirio Catherine, Duclos Cyril

This console table was made in 1781 by the joiner Georges Jacob for the second Turkish room of the count of Artois, the future Charles X, in the Château de Versailles. It base is of carved, gilt wood. The four legs culminate in winged mermaids, while the apron is carved with various trophies of weapons. The top is greyish-blue marble.

Description

This is a highly original piece of furniture, midway between a table and a console, as consoles usually had only two or three legs. The unusual design features four legs joined by a stretcher, which once held a trophy and two incense burners. It is ornamented with carved sabres, turbans, shields, and mermaids, all symbols of a fantasized Orient, and the marble top was formerly supported by fourteen gilt bronze balls.

The second Turkish room of the count of Artois in Versailles

The first Turkish room to grace Versailles dates from 1776. The count had this second room decorated in 1781, under the supervision of Jubault, his chief furniture officer, who commissioned the joiner Georges Jacob and the bronzesmith François Rémond to make the table. Rémond delivered a clock in Turkish style (now in the Château of Versailles) and several chandeliers. Parts of the decoration of this room are now in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Background

Fortunately, this piece of furniture with its illustrious past has never left the national collections. It was seized with all the possessions of the count of Artois and was assigned to the Directory, then to the Tuileries, and finally to Fontainebleau. The design was very successful and inspired many copies in the course of the nineteenth century.

Bibliography

Baulez Christian, "Le goût turc. François Rémond et le goût turc dans la famille royale au temps de Louis XVI", in l'Objet d'Art, n 2, décembre 1987, pp. 34-45.
Pallot Bill G. B., Le Mobilier du Louvre, tome 2, Paris, 1993, pp. 136-137.
Verlet Pierre, "Notes on Eighteenth century French Objets d'Art", in The Art quarterly, volume XXXI, n 4, 1968, pp. 352-381.

Technical description

  • Georges JACOB (Cheny, 1739 - Paris, 1814)

    Console table with four legs

    C. 1780

    Paris

  • Gilded oak, Bleu Turquin marble

    H. 0.90 m; W. 1.42 m; D. 0.61 m

  • Provenance: the comte d’Artois’ Turkish Cabinet in his appartments in the Aile du Midi at the Château de Versailles.
    Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1901

    OA 5234

  • Decorative Arts

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