Carved and gilt gesso
H: 74 cm; W: 77 cm; D: 49 cm
Gift of David Berg, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, In memory of his mother Ida Berg
Accession number: B90.0531(a-b)
A pair of George I carved and gilt gesso side tables.
Until the early 19th century, much of the furnishing in the important houses of the period was not intended to provide comfort, but more to show the increasing wealth of the aristocratic and merchant patrons of the architects and cabinet makers. These tables illustrate this admirably; with their richly carved surfaces of brightly burnished gold, they were intended purely for display. When the room in which they were placed was not in use, their fragile tops would have been protected by leather covers. The crisp decorative design of strapwork, sinuous leaves and trailing flower heads on a punched ground was achieved by applying successive coats of gesso, a hard plaster-like substance, which when dry was carved in low relief, and then gilded and highly burnished.
The Eighteenth Century English Dining Room, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir