Skip Navigation

Low Estrado Table

Decorative Arts

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
Home Luxuries, North and South

Made thousands of miles apart, these two sets of paired objects reveal both similarities and differences between British American and Spanish American luxury goods. Both William Allen and Don José María Gómez de Cervantes y Altamirano de Velasco are depicted in relatively simple standing half-length portraits that belie the wealth and prominence of the two sitters. Allen was the great-grandson of one of Virginia Colony’s most prestigious settlers. Don José María was the descendant of two old, distinguished Creole (American-born Spaniard) families in New Spain, in what would become Mexico.

The two tables share a common design source—The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director (1754), by the English cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale. The volume contains illustrations of domestic furniture in the popular Rococo style, whose curvilinear silhouettes derive from the court style of Louis XV of France.

The low height of the table on the right reflects the influence of Islamic culture, which permeated Spain during the Middle Ages and was brought to the New World by Spanish colonists. At home in Spanish America, the hostess entertained her female guests in the cuadra de estrado, or women’s sitting room, seated on cushions on the floor around a low table. In contrast, British Americans would have sat on side chairs around a taller tea table such as this tray-top version.
MEDIUM Mahogany
  • Possible Place Made: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • DATES second half 18th century
    DIMENSIONS 20 1/2 x 50 x 28 1/2 in. (52.1 x 127 x 72.4 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    ACCESSION NUMBER 48.206.10
    CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, and Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Low Estrado Table, second half 18th century. Mahogany, 20 1/2 x 50 x 28 1/2 in. (52.1 x 127 x 72.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, and Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 48.206.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.206.10_PS4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 48.206.10_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Rococo in style, this table has a scalloped apron and top. Four drawers, two on each long side, and a single blind drawer at each end, are embellished with distinctive cross-hatching and pierced shell carving. Carved cabriole legs end in ball-and-claw feet with anklets, multiple toes, and tufts of hair at the heel.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.