You are here

MALACHITE TABLE

Back to the Collection

MALACHITE TABLE

Made by: Demidov Lapidary Factory

On view in: Dacha


About this object

In 2006, Hillwood discovered this rococo table veneered with malachite at auction in London. The table had once belonged to Marjorie Merriweather Post. A Vogue article published in 1945 includes a photograph of Post sitting at it in her Icon Room at Tregaron, now the Washington International School in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The table presumably went to Ambassador Joseph Davies, Post's third husband, at the time of their divorce in 1955. The table's history in the interval is not known at this time.

Oval malachite table with bronze mounts on four legs. The table consists of an elliptical top and a base with four cabriole legs and a central baluster pedestal. The surface of the tabletop is covered with malachite mosaic made of irregular fragments of stone. These are arranged to convey an appearance of four slices of a solid piece of stone to form an X-shape in the middle. The tabletop has two rows of rims also made to resemble a solid piece of stone but consisting of small chips of malachite supported by a 1-inch-wide metal rim on the underside. The sections of the tabletop directly above the four legs flair out slightly and are covered with gilt bronze mounts in form of heart-shaped escutcheons topped with a raised oval and surrounded on both sides with symmetrical foliate motifs. The tabletop shows traces of repairs (a mix of a filling material with small bits of malachite matching the surrounding stone in color). The base is attached to the top by four metal plates with bolts. The plates do not match in size and shape the indentations on the underside of the tabletop provided for them. The table may be an assemblage from different pieces. The cabriole legs are formed by two interlocking s-scrolls. The four legs connect at the top and surround a central octagonal baluster pedestal. The legs appear to be made of wooden core with metal overlay covered with a layer of plaster and painted with a faux malachite finish. Few inclusions of chips of real stone are visible on the legs. Each leg is decorated with three ornamental bronze mounts, two of which follow the contour of the leg, while the central c-scroll-shaped mount is partially free-standing. The legs rest on modern apparently glass furniture glides. The pedestal is decorated with a pointed flower-bud tip bronze finial suspended from the base. None of the bronze mounts are an exact fit for the legs.

Category:
furniture
Object name:
MALACHITE TABLE
Made from:
Wood -- malachite -- gilt bronze -- metal
Made in:
Russia
Date made:
1851
Size:
H. 27 in., W. 40 in., D. 3 1/2 in.

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
32.33
Signature marks:
Credit line:
Museum Purchase in memory of Walter Beach and Eleanor Barzin, 2006
Displayed in exhibition:
Natural Beauties: Exquisite Works of Minerals and Gems
Featured in publication:
"Hillwood: Thirty Years of Collecting, 1977-2007"