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WRITING TABLE

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WRITING TABLE

Made by: Workshop of Heinrich Daniel Gambs and Jonathon Ott

On view in: Pavilion


About this object

The workshop of Gambs and Ott specialized in fine neoclassical furniture in the late 1700s and early 1800s. To decorate mahogany pieces they often employed panels of verre églomisé, or panels painted and gilded on the reverse side. Three medallions with fan-shaped ornament in black and gold on a lapis lazuli-colored ground form the primary decoration on the top of the table. Similar panels with flowers and vines are mounted on the sides. Such extensive covering of the surface with fragile handmade glass was unusual.

The writing table is made of mahogany and mahogany veneer (most likely over pine). The tops and sides of the table are decorated with large panels of sheet glass decorated in verre églomisé and an as yet unidentified colored medium. The central ornament on the top panel is an oval fan-decorated medallion in gold and black flanked by a pair of matching smaller circular medallions each outlined and linked by ribbon-tied leaf tip wreath borders, all against a matte, lapis-blue ground. Foliate rinceaux are placed in the corners and the entire panel is contained within a border decorated with meandering vines and flower heads on a jewel green ground. The sides are decorated with smaller verre églomisé panels decorated with foliated rinceaux springing from a central flower head, all against the lapis blue ground. The front of the drawer, which is constructed mostly of pine, has fluted gilt bronze around the key hole. (The lock’s mechanism is present but the key was not extant at the time of purchase.) The corners are inset with fluted gilt brass panels. This ornament is echoed on the table’s round legs, but the ornament is here achieved through gilding the wood rather than applying gilt metal mounts. The legs are joined with an X-shaped stretcher, the arms of which are ornamented with gilt brass mounts. At the center of the stretches is a circular verre églomisé panel decorated with a repeating floral ornament against a blue and green ground. The edges are surrounded with gilt brass beading and there is a gilt brass floral ornament set in the center.

Category:
furniture
Object name:
WRITING TABLE
Made from:
Mahogany -- mahogany veneer -- pine (?) -- painted and gilded glass -- gilt bronze or brass mounts -- metal lock
Made in:
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Date made:
ca. 1800
Size:
71.1 × 73 × 45.7 cm (28 × 28 3/4 × 18 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
32.31
Signature marks:
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004
Featured in publication:
"Hillwood: Thirty Years of Collecting, 1977-2007"