Continental Side Table with Ebony Inlay and Slate Top

Continental Side Table with Ebony Inlay and Slate Top


18th-19th century
Ebony, fruitwood and slate
28 3/4″ high x 39 1/2″ wide x 25″ deep

“Contemporary art consists of all art works, five thousand years or five minutes old, that physically exist in the present. We look at them with contemporary eyes, the only kinds of eyes that there ever are.” Peter Schjeldahl

This charming table is a marriage of materials and ages. The oldest part is the octagonal top, made of golden fruitwood inlaid with ebony and probably dating to the early 18th century. The shapely legs ending in pieds-de-biche, or deer’s feet, came later, the late 18th/early 19th century. And the apron with single drawer seems the most recent addition, likely later in the 19th century. The central panel of the top is a well-worn slate with a marvelous hand. Though the style of the table is clearly Régence, the marquetry figures of combatant lions have a distinctly Germanic feel.

We daily apply Schjeldahl’s wisdom about art to the way we consider design. To us, a contemporary interior is only enriched by the presence of old things–and those things are in turn renewed by the new context in which they find themselves.