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Top and base, right or wrong

Thursday 25th February 2016 at 10:22

I recently had a very beautiful Regency mahogany breakfast table come on display and when photographing this it was clear that I was looking at a textbook example of early 19th. century cabinetmaking.  Whenever I buy a piece there is a period of examination which will involve looking at the construction as well as the surfaces.

The top of this table is just magnificent and the edge of the table top being rounded ties in with the moulded section of the sabred legs and the "knee" at the top of the legs helps to date the table to ca. 1820. It is apparent though when the tilt top is raised up and the table viewed from behind that this top has always been together with this base. The marks on the underside of the top tie up exactly with the block at the top of the base.

It is not only the paler square between the bearers on the top but the untouched catch and locking plate on both the underside of the top and the edge of the block that show just how original this all is. Although some of the screws on the bearers have been replaced over the past two centuries, many of the originals are still there. It is also nice to see the brass feet and casters are high quality and commensurate with the rest of this example.  The top of this table is very special as well.

The timber used for the top is a rare combination of fiddle-back and flame figured mahogany and is really a very choice use of veneers. For a cabinetmaker in about 1810 to 1820 to have purchased this veneer would have meant spending a serious amount of money and would have been kept for a special client. This is no run of the mill table. I also think it complements a Regency ormolu candelabra currently in stock as well.

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