This small side table or desk (writing table) caught our eye with the luminous color of the solid walnut torsades, or twisted legs. Photographs do not convey the beauty or the depth of color and grain that they display. The same color and wood surround the inlaid top. This is a darker walnut veneer in a burl pattern, surrounded by a narrow light colored veneer trim, probably poplar, creating a striking appearance, that resembles marquetry in the French tradition. It has one wide drawer under the top, with the original key and lock.
The magnificent torsades that support the top terminate in small bun feet. The walnut stretchers join the legs at the center where a finial (toupie) crowns this intersection. These curvaceous stretchers suggest Louis XIV in style, and on the surface show signs of an earlier insect infestation (small holes and pathways) that lends an air of age, but has not affected the structural integrity of the wood.
It is our estimation that the table was created at the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century.
Boussel, Patrice, Les Styles du Moyen Age à Louis XIV (Baschet et Cie, Paris, 1979); Quette, Anne-Marie, Le Mobilier Français Louis XIII et Louis XIV (Editions Massin, Paris, 1996); Rousseau, Francis, Le Grand Livre des Meubles (Copyright Studio, Paris, 1999).
As with all of our antique furniture, this Louis XIII style blends very well with other styles of antiques to provide that country house, chateau or castle ambiance. Owing to its size, it could serve as a table between two beds or as a stand-alone table at bedside now that mattresses are taller and therefore closer to the height of this table.