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Dressing table

Dressing table

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1770 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs H.H. Mulliner

  • Museum number:

    W.89:2-1924

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A woman's dressing table on slender, cabriole legs, with a rectangular top with outset, rounded corners, and a low stretcher panel with in-curved edges. The table is ornamented overall with veneers of rosewood framing reserves of harewood inlaid with arabesques, urns and other neo-classical motifs in various woods. The main drawer of the table pulls forward to reveal a central mirror (that can be raised on an easel) flanked by hinged compartments, the lids of which are inlaid on the inside with the heads of a man and a woman (left and right), both in Middle Eastern costume. When the main drawer is pulled forward, the top of the table automatically moves backwards.

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1770 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (maker)

Object history note

This table was given to the Museum in 1924 by Mrs H.H. Mulliner, widow of the well-known connoisseur and auther H. H. Mulliner, who was director of the well known decorating company Lenygon and Morant and author of The Decorative Arts in England 1660-1780, published in 1923. He illustrated this piece as fig. 22. It is possible that he also used it as a model for pieces made by Lenygon and Morant for their clients as at least one other version of this is known, although it is impossible to tell from photographs the likely date that it was made, and it may simply be another version of the table made in the late 18th century.

Museum negative 74591 shows this on display in Gallery 40 in 1936 as part of a display of Georgian furniture.

Descriptive line

A woman's dressing table on slender, cabriole legs, with a rectangular top with outset, rounded corners, and a low stretcher panel with in-curved edges. The table is ornamented overall with veneers of rosewood framing reserves of harewood inlaid with arabesques, urns and other neo-classical motifs in various woods. The main drawer of the table pulls forward to reveal a central mirror (that can be raised on an easel) flanked by hinged compartments, the lids of which are inlaid on the inside with the heads of a man and a woman (left and right), both in Middle Eastern costume. When the main drawer is pulled forward, the top of the table automatically moves backwards.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ramond, Pierre. La Marqueterie. Paris, Editions Vial, 1981, p. 48
Ramond, Pierre. Marquetry. 1st ed. published in English by Taunton Press, 1989. Revised edition, Paris, Editions Vial, 2002, p. 48

Mulliner, H.H., The Decorative Arts in England 1660-1780. London, Batsford, 1922, fig. 22
Victoria and Albert Museum. Fifty Masterpieces of Woodwork. London: HMSO, 1955, no. 47

Labels and date

DRESSING-TABLE
BRITISH; about 1770
Satinwood and rosewood, with marquetry of other woods on a carcase of pine and mahogany; gilt-bronze mounts

The top slides back for use, to reveal a mirror which can be propped up, with compartments on either side. This form was inspired by French dressing-tables of the 1760s, particularly those made by the French royal cabinet maker, Jean-François Oeben (1721-63). France continually provided fashionable models for London cabinet makers and 'in the French taste' had by this time become a general phrase of recommendation.
Given by Mrs H.H. Mulliner
Museum No. W.89-1924 [1996]
DRESSING-TABLE
ENGLISH; about 1770
Mahogany, veneered with satinwood and other woods
Given by Mrs H.H. Mulliner
Museum No. W.89-1924 [ca. 1965]

Techniques

Cabinet making; Veneering; Inlay; Marquetry

Categories

Furniture; Make-up

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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