Tilt-top table

Workshop of David Roentgen German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 553

The circular top of this small table, or gueridon, has a pierced wood gallery with brass banding. It is supported by a fluted block above a pillar in the form of a stylized Ionic column with brass moldings. The top can be both turned horizontally and tipped up, and gilt-brass casters under the feet make the whole piece easy to move. The gallery is not only decorative, but it would also have prevented objects from sliding off the edge. The revolving top made it possible for a host to serve tea to a small company of guests in privacy, without the presence of servants. All the elements of this table, but especially the pierced gallery, which is not executed in gilded metal in the French manner but skillfully crafted from wood, distinguish it from every other contemporary table invention.

Tilt-top table, Workshop of David Roentgen (German, Herrnhaag 1743–1807 Wiesbaden, master 1780), Mahogany; gilt bronze and brass, German, Neuwied am Rhein

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