A rare, late-17th century, small, oak, gateleg table
The rectangular, plank top in three sections with two replaced hinges. Standing on baluster-turned legs, joined by a square, central stretcher and shaped gate stretchers. Excellent configuration, original colour, and patina. English, fourth quarter of the 17th century. 61081124.
Surviving small, gateleg tables from this period are rare. This piece was probably made with the intent of being used as either a centre table, or an occassional table. The cabinet maker has incorporated elegant, baluster turnings, which were the latest fashion at the time. Shaped, gate stretchers are rarely found on such pieces, and add finesse to the quality, serving to elevate and harmonise the fluidity of the table. The colour and patina of this piece have matured to an excellent quality.
Gateleg tables dating from the time of the Restoration onwards are sometimes found made of walnut, but oak was chiefly employed with fruitwoods often being used in country districts. The tops of these tables with two or more gates were made in three sections, the iron hinges being fitted on the underside, while sometimes the gates are attached to the frame by wooden staples secured by pegs. There were certain departures from the prevailing type. In some cases instead of separate gates on either side, a single gate pivoted on the centre stretcher served to support both flaps. A drawer was often fitted in the main framing. Though tradition generally governed the design, traces of contemporary fashion can be observed as in the shaped braganza feet, indicating in conjunction with the turning a date towards the end of the century.
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