Costa Achillopoulo , active in England 1930s - 70s
Country of Origin United Kingdom
Painted wood, gesso, glass, metal screws
H. 28 3/8 x Diam. 23 5/8 in. (72 x 60 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, in memory of J. Stewart Johnson, 2006
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 901
Little is known about the designer of this table, which is both a functional piece of furniture and a fantastical Surrealist sculpture. The glass tabletop rests improbably atop small balls balanced on the tips of three delicately tapering fingers, generating a sensation of tension and unease. Disembodied hands and gloves are recurrent motifs in Surrealist art, with the left hand, in particular, symbolizing the irrational. The cloudlike element from which the hand emerges also suggests a transition from the conscious to the subconscious world.
Inscription: Signed and dated (under base): A. Costa, 1934
John Jesse, London (1968–2006; his sale, Sotheby's, London, February 22, 2006, no. 163, sold to MMA)

London. New Burlington Galleries. "The International Surrealist Exhibition," June 11–July 4, 1936, not in catalogue [see Ref. Garland 1968].

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.

Madge Garland. The Indecisive Decade: The World of Fashion and Entertainment in the Thirties. London, 1968, p. 54.