Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Queen Anne Tea Table in Green

Now here's a form you don't see everyday. In all the years I've been refinishing furniture, this is, in fact, the first tea table I've had the privilege to work on, and it was given to me!

      A lovely blog follower brought this sweet vintage Queen Anne mahogany tray top tea table to me last week. He'd planned on working on it himself, but in the end didn't have the space. I desperately wanted to keep this beauty for myself, but sadly I just don't have a spot in my home. Irregardless I indulged myself and finished it in one of my favorite pale greens- a soft warm tone that's equal parts playful and elegant and (I think) suits the table perfectly.

       These tables were popular in American and English design from about 1730-1770, and then again during the Colonial revival of the 1920s. An original 18th century tray top tea table can bring big BIG bucks. When I worked at Liverant Antiques we had a Salem Massachusetts one in an early black paint surface that was priced at almost as much as my house is worth. It, just like this 20th century version, was a symphony of design, a masterclass of lean luscious cyma curves, perfectly balanced, perfectly built, as leggy as a gazelle and as graceful as a prima ballerina. In my humble opinion, furniture form does not get much more sophisticated than a tray top tea table.

      Here's one made in Boston c.1730-1750 that sold at Christie's auction three years ago and realized $290,500. Yes you read that right, just under 300k FOR A TABLE.

Pleasingly, my vintage one is almost exactly the same dimensions as that original 18th century one, even has fully functional candle slides on each side. Excellent attention to detail by whomever built this sweet piece. And blasphemous as it is, I prefer the form of my 20th century one. Though the Christie's table has a thinner ankle, I find both the apron and the curve of the cabriole leg to be a bit underwhelming. Plus mine's got those cheeky big foot pads underneath. None of that is surprising, though; 20th century reproductions almost always turned the design element dial up by about 75%. Over. The. Top.
           I'll only be asking $165 for this solid mahogany table, and compared to $290,500, that's a hell of a bargain.
P.S.- Do you like the wreath? I made it this morning, I'll be posting a how-to to make your own this evening!

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