Indianapolis Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection (2005)
This elaborate rococo revival table exemplifies the most fashionable English taste of the mid-19th century. With its leather surface, for books to lie flat on, it would have occupied a central position in an elegant library or entrance hall. One of fewer than ten closely related examples found in museum and private collections around the world, the piece closely follows an engraving by the designer, architect, and sculptor Richard H. Bridgens for a “Marqueterie Centre Table.” The pattern appears in Bridgens’s book, Furniture with Candelabra and Interior Decoration, first published in London in 1825.
The table was sold by the firm of Edward Holmes Baldock, one of 19th-century London’s most prominent furniture and porcelain brokers, whose clientele included King George IV and other distinguished patrons. Baldock also made new furniture and “improved” old pieces. We do not know if Baldock produced this table himself, or if he commissioned a specialist to make it and then sold it under his name, but the quality of its construction—visible especially in the complex shape and marquetry decoration of its base—attests to the accomplishment of the cabinetmaker. Based upon information on the bills of sale for similar tables, the marquetry of the IMA’s piece is attributable to Robert Blake or the Blake firm. The design of the marquetry’s Rococo-style scrolls is more German than English, indicating it was probably inspired by German ornamental prints of the 1700s.
H. Blairman & Sons, Ltd., London; purchased from H. Blairman & Sons, September 1991.
Please complete the following questions to further improve the image files and metadata made available to Newfields users. If you select Scholarly or Commercial as the Intended Use you will be prompted to provide additional details about your specific use in order that the Newfields can retain the record of how image reproductions of works in its collection are utilized.
Public domain collection images downloaded from the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields collections website should be credited: "Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields." Additional caption information is provided with the downloaded image files and image use contracts, if applicable.
If you require a high quality TIFF file for your publication or product, please complete the Image Request Form.