After a design by Matthias Lock (British, London ca. 1710–ca. 1765 London)
Carved gilt pine with modern scagliola top
H. 33 1/2 x W. 73 1/2 x D. 35 1/4 in. (85.1 x 186.7 x 89.5 cm)
Purchase, Irene Roosevelt Aitken Gift, in memory of Russell B. Aitken; several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts; Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, Francis F. Randolph and Marion E. Cohn Foundation Gifts, and Bequest of Irwin Untermyer, by exchange; and Oscar de la Renta Ltd. Gift, 2007
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 519
This monumental pair of side tables (see also 2007.196.2) displays many similarities to an unfinished drawing by the designer and carver Matthias Lock (ca. 1710–1765) in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Although Lock is best known for his designs in an English version of the French Rococo style, this drawing is in the bold manner associated with the English Palladian movement. Propagated in early eighteenth-century England by the architect and designer William Kent and his patron Lord Burlington, this architectural style also affected furniture design. Characteristic are the large shell motifs, classical masks, lion's paws, curling acanthus leaves, and running Vitruvian scroll on these tables. Particularly beautiful is the varied surface treatment of the water gilding, with its burnished highlights, as seen, for instance, in the chiseled features of the satyrs carved at the knees of the cabriole legs, contrasting with the ring punched matte ground. Acquired for the Museum's dining room from Kirtlington Park, near Oxford, these side tables were originally part of a larger set (a nearly identical pair is still in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts).
Marking: Various printed and handwritten labels pasted underneath:  S?B Lot no. 305/Art. No. 7 to 14  58.105/Hearst 305-9  58.106/ Hearst 305-10
Charles of London (from 1920) ; C. J. Charles ; [ French and Co., New York (until 1927) ] ; William Randolph Hearst and Hearst Foundation (until 1958) ; Detroit Institute of Arts (until 2006) ; [ sale no. N08229, Sotheby's, New York , October 18, 2006, lot 371; sold to MMA ]