A fine, late-17th century, 6-8 seater, oak, gateleg table
The oval top in three sections. The hinges original. The frieze with a drawer on either side, one replaced. Both fitted with locks, one original, and lined in oak. Standing on barley-twist turned legs on a rare hinged-pin mechanism, joined by moulded square sections on original toes. Exceptional configuration, colour and patina. English, fourth quarter of the 17th century. 81101236
This fine piece has developed an outstanding surface over time, to a degree which is rarely found on tables that were used for dining due to their heavy use. The colour is uniform across the top indicating that it has stood and been used fully open for most of its life. The hinged pin mechanism pivoting the single gate onto the centre stretcher is a rare feature. The fact that it is the original suggests that the table has either stood either closed or open. This is consistent with the condition of the surface of the top, and supports the probability that this table has stood extended through time. Barley-twist were the highest quality turnings of the time and consequently the height of fashion. They give this table elegance and fluidity, and balance the overall proportion of the piece.
Oak was chiefly employed on gateleg tables dating from the time of the Restoration onwards. The tops of these tables with two or more gates were made in three sections, the iron hinges being fitted on the underside. There were certain departures from the prevailing type, though tradition generally governed the design, and traces of contemporary fashion can be observed in the shape of the turnings and the feet, which in this case indicates a date during the last quarter of the 17th century.
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