In France, a mirrored plateau that is displayed on a table is known as a surtout de table. The mirrors ranged in size from a foot long to well over 20 feet; other materials varied as well, although gilding, silvering, and exotic metals were quite common. Our silvered bronze surtout de table has been paired with a small jardiniere that rests on top of the oval mirror with a beveled edge. Produced in circa 1890, the grouping is Louis XVI in style, with Neoclassical motifs.
Both the jardiniere and the platter have been adorned along the sides in the style of an ordered column. Foliate (on the jardiniere) and floral (on the platter) swags lay on top of the widely spaced fluting. The platter has a pair of fasces handles on the sides with four scrolled feet flanking a scrolled medallion on the longer sides. There are significantly more Neoclassical elements on the jardiniere, such as musical trophies beneath crinkled bow, a row of fasces, and a husk border. The long sides have an oval medallion surrounded by curled leaves and topped with a bird sitting on crossed torches. A large cartouche of an open floral rinceaux envelops the oval, with a curled leaf foot at the center. Two smaller feet are on the sides, each beneath a ram mascaron handle with curled leaf terminals.
Surtout de tables were typically displayed as ornamental centerpieces on formal dining tables. Today, our Louis XVI style silvered mirrored platter with jardiniere would be a perfect addition to a sofa or center table. The grouping could also be used on a bathroom counter to display fresh cut or dried flowers.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including minor scratches to mirror and light buildup to jardiniere. Fleabites to sections of the silvered bronze. Small repair to the bronze of the mirrored platter.