This classic Henri II table is octagonal in shape with contrasting, pie-shaped pieces of solid walnut inlaid to form the top. Although in origin it resembles the guéridon, a circular or octagonal table atop a central column, this table's more muscular design replacing the single column or spindle with a four columns arranged in a circle adds substance and stability.
The unadorned frieze below the top contributes to the sense of sturdy construction with a nod to the Henri II style with its fondness for architectural elements. The toupie at the center of the elaborate structure joining the four legs calls further attention to the overall balance of the design.
Because of the use of such classic elements as the acanthus leaf at the base of each leg, and the pattern of highly stylized, overlapping palm leaves for the horizontal elements joining the leg to the central base, the result is a pleasing blend of Henri II or Renaissance stylistic elements without the more elaborate items such as masques and grotesques. Topping it all is the extraordinary workmanship of the top, highlighting the intricacy of the design and the beauty of the grain in the contrasting colors of walnut.
Rousseau, Francis, Le Grand Livre des Meubles (Copyright Studio, Paris, 1999)
This table lends itself to many uses, including an end table, an occasional table in front of a coffee table or between two armchairs, or as the base for a flower arrangement in a foyer or entryway.