Truly a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture, this oak refectory table was hand-carved in France during the 1600’s. The 3 5/8” thick top has subtle undulations along the edges as a result of the carving process. French wax has been applied to the table, giving the oak wood a deep and rich patina. A small fleur de lys (4” H x 3 ¼” W) has been inlaid in the center using a light brown flame maple.
The robust top sits on top of three trestle legs with scrolled feet. Two inch thick risers have been added to each foot, giving added height to the table. A four inch thick stretcher runs through mortises on all three legs and has been secured with round dowels.
Refectory tables were originally used as eating tables in monasteries during Medieval times. Depending on the size of the refectory (dining hall), multiple tables could be lined up for the monks to eat while one of the clerics read scripture from an elevated pulpit. By the Late Middle Ages, refectory tables could be found in houses of nobility. Not quite 10 feet long, our 17th century refectory table can comfortably seat 10 adults. We originally imported this table from France 20 years ago, and only recently re-acquired it. Tables of such age, form, substantial proportion are quite rare. A third party appraisal was conducted in 2007, and is available upon request.
CONDITION: Good antique condition, with wear commensurate to age and use, including acceptable age separations and losses. Traces of old wood worm and old fills and repairs, including wood and iron bolts inserted into the long sides and under the top. The fleur de lys on the top might not be original to the table, but it is distinctively antique. 2 inch risers added 20 years ago beneath each foot to give the table a standard modern height.