An important pair of gilt and patinated bronze centre tables

A pair of Restauration gilt and patinated bronze centre tables
with  Egyptian porphyry tops – circa 1820


Height: 88.5 cm. (34 ¾ in.)             Width: 106 cm. (41 ¾ in.)             Depth: 65 cm. (25 ½ in.)



Collection of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Sotheby’s New York, 19 November 1993, lot 72

Maurice Ségoura, Paris

Richly decorated on all four sides with motifs of palmettes and foliage, they appear to be unique examples of tables constructed entirely of gilded and patinated bronze in the early 19th Century. When they were offered from the important collection of French furniture assembled by Félix Houphouët-Boigny nearly twenty years ago by Sotheby’s, they were mistakenly catalogued as adapted from jardinieres.

However, a close examination of the tables took place recently when they were entirely disassembled for cleaning. This revealed no sign of a drawer or receptacle to the base to collect the water which would have been present in a jardiniere. Furthermore, the central section of each table retains its original construction with four removeable legs held firmly in place by an interior wooden framework which maintains the structural rigidity and prevents the table from bending and buckling under its own weight.

The solid Egyptian porphyry tops are modern replacements.