Side table (one of a pair)
After a design by Matthias Lock British
This monumental pair of side tables (see also 2007.196.1) 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).