Half-Circle, Complete Sophistication

A 19th century English George III ellipitical side table, an adaptation of the French console-desserte

Carlton Hobbs LCC, a 19th century George III elliptical side table


This unusual, mahogany and boxwood inlaid George III elliptical side table is a 19th century English adaptation of the French console-desserte, a form akin to the sideboard used in dining rooms from the 18th century. Figure 1 depicts a Directoire elliptical mahogany console-desserte similar in design to the present table, with open shelves divided by tapering posts.


Figure 1

The elliptical and demi-lune form was first introduced in the late 18th century as part of the resurgence of interest in the art and architecture of ancient Rome, which characterized neoclassicism. It embodies the taste propagated by English designers Robert Adam, George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton, and provided by such cabinetmakers as Gillows of London and Lancaster and William Gates. A Sheraton mahogany open-shelf console in figure 2, circa 1800, provides an English example of this type of console table.

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