Center table

Gustave Herter German (Stuttgart, principality of Württemberg)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 736

German-born and trained Gustave Herter produced this extraordinary center table around the time he established his own furniture and decorating firm at 547 Broadway. The robustly carved figural legs and bold, curvaceous form reflect Herter’s European training and sensibilities. The table’s delicate marquetry top, which may have been imported from Paris, speaks to the prevailing taste for French style among American patrons. Simultaneously, the four enigmatic and exoticized Native American female forms with gilded turtle breastplates suggest a desire to explore and formulate a national iconography.

Center table, Gustave Herter (1830–1898), Rosewood, rosewood veneer, maple, burled wood, ash (secondary wood), brass, and scagliola, American

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