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  • Place of origin:

    France (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1936-1938 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Foujita, born 1886 - died 1968 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mahogany inlaid with various woods

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This low occasional, or coffee, table is one of a set made as part of the furnishings of a French ocean liner, probably the Normandie. The top is inlaid with a selection of small objects as if someone has turned out his pockets for a memory game. These include scissors, a watch, a pair of tortoishell glasses and a box of matches.

The designer was the Japanese artist Foujita who trained in Japan but worked in Paris from 1913, and whose work combined both eastern and western traditions. The table shows a Chinese influence in its overall shape, but the playful decoration of household objects is thoroughly European.

Physical description

Low square table of mahogany, with four square-section legs. Each side has a shpaed apron and corner brackets. The table top is slightly dished, and is veneered, inlaid with pictores of a variety of domestic objects: a pair of scissors, a fob watch, an envelope, a cigar, two pipes, a pair of tortoiseshell glasses, a match box with two matches, a key, a pencil, and three playing cards: the three of diamonds, the two of clubs, and the ace of hearts.There is also an inlaid signature: 'Foujita'.

Place of Origin

France (probably, made)


1936-1938 (made)


Foujita, born 1886 - died 1968 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Mahogany inlaid with various woods

Marks and inscriptions

inlaid in the table top


Height: 53 cm, Width: 73.5 cm, Depth: 73.5 cm

Object history note

This table was made to form part of the furnishing of a French liner, probably the Normandie.

Object sampling carried out by Jo Darrah, V&A Science; drawer/slide reference 6/30.

Descriptive line

Low square wooden table with marquetry decoration by Foujita

Labels and date


Designed and made by Foujita (Japanese, 1886-1968)
Mahogany, inlaid with various woods

The Japanese artist Foujita worked in Paris from 1913. This table with trompe l'oeil decoration is said to have been made as part of the furnishings of a French ocean liner.

W.30-1979 []




Veneering; Marquetry

Subjects depicted

Pipe; Match box; Pencil; Key; Card; Match; Watch; Scissors; Cigar; Envelope


Furniture; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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