Research: Luce Center for American Art

Center Table
Accession #88.24
Designer John Finlay
Designer Della Valle Brothers
TitleCenter Table
Dateca. 1825
MediumWood, brass, gilt, plaster (scagliola)
Dimensions30 3/8 x 33 x 33 in. (77.2 x 83.8 x 83.8 cm)
MarksUnderside of table inscribed, "Maritime Vernet", which probably refers to either Claude Joseph Vernet or Carle Vernet; both were French artists known for their maritime-inspired engravings.
Credit LinePurchased with funds given by an anonymous donor, gift of the American Art Council and Designated Purchase Fund
LocationAmerican Identities: Colony to Nation / Inventing American Landscape
DescriptionCenter table, wood, brass, and scagliola. Table is ebonized and embellished with simulated rosewood graining (pedestal), stenciled and free hand gilt work, applied brass roundels and a decorated scagliola circular top. Top is supported by a turned wooden pedestal, which is raised by four down swept C-scrolled legs, which terminate with brass animal paw toe tips. Pedestal and legs are ebonized and decorated with gilt anthemion, gilt borders and round brass medallions. The convex apron of the table (5 3/4"high) is constructed of narrow strips of wood, stacked five layers high, and ebonized with gilt borders and a gilt rinceaux design repeated five times. The circular scagliola top has a painting comprising three men fishing and a basket-bearing female, all placed in a seaside landscape. In the far left horizon is a medieval castle, and an enclosing fortezza, and adrift of the shore is a full-mast ship. Surrounding border consists of tromp l'oeil beads, shaded in gold monochromatic hues. Succeeding the beaded border is a narrow circular border, which is rose in color. The outermost border is a continuous circle of intertwined oak leaves and acorns, shaded in monochrome tones of brown. Background of tabletop is black. CONDITION: Fair; several deep and penetrating cracks in top (top previously broken and repaired, re-backed), various water stain "rings". Stacked wood layers of apron are buckling. Various chips in ebonized surface. Gilt work in excellent condition.