Created in the 1900’s, this pair of burlwood veneer French side tables have oval tops which rest upon classical lyre shaped bases. A burl occurs when the wood grain grows in a misshapen manner, as the result of stress to the tree. Burled wood is highly valued due to the fact that it yields deeply figured wood that is both rare and beautiful. The wood itself is extremely dense and resistant to splitting due to the twisted grain.
With these particular tables, the burl veneer is from a maple tree. Maple sapwood is light in color with a golden hue. This is especially true of burled maple, as it is significantly lighter than the burlwood of other tree species. Notice how the brown pith flecks throughout the grain give the tables a unique pattern, which incorporate well with the honey colored veneer.
The top has a ring of ebonized wood veneer that mimics the oval shape of the table. In the center of the table is a series of inlaid C scrolls, once again in the shape of an oval. Inside this ring are two more inlaid C scrolls, styled as hearts in a mirror image. On the front side of the apron is a drawer with a brass pull. The interior of the drawer has ebonized wood, providing a matching color to the inlays on the table top. The support of each table is lyre form, complete with “strings” of brass. The support meets the quadriform base at an ebonized wood plinth.
The overall style of these tables call the periods of French Restoration, Charles X and Louis Philippe. Similar pieces were being made in Central Europe (specifically Germany and Austria) under the Biedermeier style. All of these styles rebuked the extravagance associated with the Empire style that preceded them, which was known for gilded materials and eye-catching configurations. Furniture of this time is recognized by simple, balanced proportions, light colors, and smooth surfaces in which the grain of veneer is the only decoration needed.
Place these bright and elegant French side tables in a living room or as accent pieces in a bedroom or sitting room.
CONDITION: Good condition with light wear commensurate with age and use. Slight age separations to veneer, nicks, and recent repair to add stability.