There are some delicate and unique features to this Regence style walnut wood console table from France, circa 1860. It combines period design elements, with a thoughtful and discreet front drawer, and carved apron and top edges along the sides as well as the rear.
The walnut wood top has an arbalete (“crossbow”) shaped edge on the front and back sides. Beneath the tabletop is a sinuous apron, hand-carved on three of the sides. The front side is a pull-out drawer with a lovely façade of a gadrooned urn sitting amongst some olive branches and beaded drapery. The branches trail down to the bottom of the apron and merge with S-scrolls and rinceaux of acanthus leaves.
Beneath the apron are four double curved legs, known as cabriole legs, that have floral carvings above and below the knee. Cabriole legs are hallmarks of the Regence period. The same can be said for the realistically carved hoof feet. Designed to resemble deer hooves, the pied-de-biche (“doe foot”) first appeared towards the end of the 17th century.
In 1715, the reigning king, Louis XIV died , and his successor, Louis XV, was only five years old and unable to rule as king until his 13th birthday. Between 1715-1723, France was governed by Philippe II, Duke of Orleans, who many referred to as Le Regent. The time of his reign thus became known as the Régence period.
The Régence period represented a shift from extravagance that was prevalent during Louis XIV to more intimate furniture, which continued into Louis XV. Emphasis was placed on organic carvings, as evidenced by motifs that included palmettes, scalloped shells and asymmetrical leaf patterns. Corners and legs became softer and more curvaceous. Many of these elements would become extremely popular during the Rococo portion of the Louis XV period.
This fantastic antique table from the mid to late 19th century can be placed against a wall and used as a console table in a hallway or bedroom. Since the back apron and the top is worked and decorated, it can also be a freestanding center table. The wood has a light but warm color, and has taken very well to a light French wax.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor splits and losses, old restorations and stains to top as seen in photos. Rear skirt probably a comparably stained fruitwood