Table

1769 (made)
Table thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118, The Wolfson Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This table, fitted with a single drawer, is a very rare example of furniture designed by the architect Sir William Chambers (1723-1796) for his own use. It is clearly an architect-designed piece, with unusually attenuated legs and fine proportions. It was probably made purely for decoration rather than for use.

People
Chambers once described himself as 'a very pretty connoisseur in furniture'. His table was made by the Swedish cabinet-maker Georg Haupt (1741-1784) when he was in London. After spending five years in Paris and London, Haupt returned to Stockholm in 1769 to become cabinet-maker to the Swedish royal family.

Materials & Making
The table is made of oak, veneered with satinwood, ebony and other woods, with specimen marbles set in the top.

Time
The use of marble specimens set in tables was considered very fashionable during the 1760s and 1770s, and interest in Classical archaeology was widespread. An important contribution was Chambers's own Treatise on Civil Architecture, published in 1759, which helped establish him as one of the leading Neo-classical architects of his day. Chambers had studied extensively in Paris between 1749 and 1750, and in Rome between 1750 and 1755. The shape of the legs was probably inspired by Greek urns.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Table
  • Drawer
  • Key
Materials and Techniques
Satinwood, oak and pine, inlaid with ebony and hardstones
Brief Description
Table, satinwood, inlaid with ebony, the top inlaid with specimen marbles. English, 1769. Designed by William Chambers and made by Georg Haupt.
Dimensions
  • Height: 75cm
  • Width: 42.8cm
  • Depth: 42.8cm
Gallery Label
  • Satinwood, inlaid with ebony, the top decorated with 'Antique' marble plaques. Designed by the architect William Chambers (1726-96) for his own use, and made by the Swedish cabinet maker George Haupt (1741-84) when he was in London.(Unknown)
  • Mahogany with ebony inlay. Inset with "antique" marble plaques. Designed by the architect William Chambers for his own use, and made by the Swedish cabinet-maker George Haupt, when he was in London in 1769.(Unknown)
  • Satinwood, inlaid with ebony, the top inlaid with specimen marbles; inscription underneath giving name of designer and maker with date. This is one of the few pieces of furniture known to have been designed by Chambers, who was architect to King George III. [Sarah Medlam and Kate Hay](1996)
  • TABLE ENGLISH Mahogany with ebony inlay. Inset with 'antique' marble plaques. Designed by the architect William Chambers for his own use, and made by the Swedish cabinet-maker George Haupt, when he was in London in 1769. Purchased by the Brigadier Clark Fund through the National Art-Collections Fund.(pre October 2000)
  • British Galleries: This small Neo-classical table was designed by the architect Sir William Chambers for his own use. Its form is based on small French tables, but its legs are derived from ancient Greek furniture.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the Brigadier Clark Fund through Art Fund
Object history
Designed by Sir William Chambers (born in Göteborg, Sweden, 1723, died in London, 1796); made in London by Georg Haupt (born in Stockholm, 1741, died there in 1784)



Historical significance: The fact of this table's manufacture are recoreded in an insccription. The collaboration between Chambers, architect to George III, and Haupt, a Swedish cabinet maker trained in Paris, makes this a crucial example of advanced Neo-classical taste.
Production
dated 1769
Summary
Object Type
This table, fitted with a single drawer, is a very rare example of furniture designed by the architect Sir William Chambers (1723-1796) for his own use. It is clearly an architect-designed piece, with unusually attenuated legs and fine proportions. It was probably made purely for decoration rather than for use.

People
Chambers once described himself as 'a very pretty connoisseur in furniture'. His table was made by the Swedish cabinet-maker Georg Haupt (1741-1784) when he was in London. After spending five years in Paris and London, Haupt returned to Stockholm in 1769 to become cabinet-maker to the Swedish royal family.

Materials & Making
The table is made of oak, veneered with satinwood, ebony and other woods, with specimen marbles set in the top.

Time
The use of marble specimens set in tables was considered very fashionable during the 1760s and 1770s, and interest in Classical archaeology was widespread. An important contribution was Chambers's own Treatise on Civil Architecture, published in 1759, which helped establish him as one of the leading Neo-classical architects of his day. Chambers had studied extensively in Paris between 1749 and 1750, and in Rome between 1750 and 1755. The shape of the legs was probably inspired by Greek urns.
Bibliographic References
  • Thornton, Peter. ‘A Very Special Year: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Furniture Acquisitions in 1977’. Connoisseur, vol 198, no 196, June 1978.
  • Lucy Wood, 'George Haupt and his Compatriots in London', in Furniture History, vol. L. pp. 238-75, illustrated as fig. 3
  • Catalogue entry in NACF Annual Review 1977.
Collection
Accession Number
W.38:1 to 3-1977

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record createdJuly 2, 1998
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