Manufactured in Lille, France, circa 1880, this wood butcher block features a well-used, square parquetry top. The billot (as it is known in France) would have been used in a butcher shop to cut and tenderize meat for customers; the bend you see to the top is a result of thousands of repetitive knife strikes. Behind the parquetry is an iron slot which would have been used to store knives and other utensils.
A metal plate on the front apron indicates that the table was made by the P. Vienne Blocs et Glacieres company located at 2B Rue Des Celestines, located in the most historic district of Lille. Beneath the placard is a drawer with an iron pull adorned with geometric motifs. The drawer was assembled using dovetail construction, while the rest of the table has mortise and tenon joinery reinforced by iron plates on the corners. Rectangular joints beneath the iron plates are adorned with tas de sable (“sandpit”) motifs. Four thick fluted baluster legs with bun feet offer stability to the table. Our circa 1880 butcher block from Lille can be used as a kitchen island or carving station in any home.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including minor scratches, age separations, and losses. Light buildup with rubs and stains. The top surface has been shaped over the years from the repetitive cutting and tenderizing required in butcher shops.