Antique Victorian Library / Centre Table Jasperware Plaques, C1880

Antique Victorian Library / Centre Table Jasperware Plaques, C1880

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About this item

This is a stunning and rare antique English Victorian oval library table, Circa 1880 in date.

Made from ebony and burr walnut with ormolu mounts and a plethora of Wedgewood Jasperware plaques.

The oval top has an inset gold tooled burgundy leather writing surface with an ebonised border. The frieze has burr walnut banding with four jasperware plaques set in attractive ormolu mounts.

It is raised on four turned ebonised columns that stand on a four legged cabriole base. The base eautifuly decorated with boxwood stringing and burr walnut panels, the legs terminate in their original brass castors. A beautiful ormolu urn stands on the centre of the base surrounded by sixteen Jasperware plaques.
 

Condition:

In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 74 x Width 122 x Depth 91

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 5 inches x Width 4 feet, 0 inches x Depth 3 feet

urr Walnut
refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.
 

Wedgwood
china tableware and giftware patterns are amongst England's finest. Synonymous with beauty, craftsmanship and innovation for over 250 years.

Founded by Josiah Wedgwood I, known as the 'father of English potters'. 

Josiah Wedgwood worked with the established potter Thomas Whieldon until 1759 when relatives leased him the Ivy House in Burslem, allowing him to start his own pottery business. The launch of the new venture was helped by his marriage to a remote cousin Sarah (also Wedgwood) who brought a sizeable dowry with her.

In 1765, Wedgwood created a new earthenware form which impressed the then British Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz who gave permission to call it "Queen's Ware"; this new form sold extremely well across Europe. Wedgwood developed a number of industrial innovations for his company, notably a way of measuring kiln temperatures accurately and new ware types Black Basalt and Jasper Ware.

Wedgwood's most famous ware is jasperware. It was created to look like ancient cameo glass. It was inspired by the Portland Vase, a Roman vessel which is now a museum piece. (The first jasperware colour was Portland Blue, an innovation that required experiments with more than 3,000 samples). In recognition of the importance of his pyrometric beads (pyrometer), Josiah Wedgwood was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1783. Today, the Wedgwood Prestige collection sells replicas of some of the original designs as well as modern neo-classical style jasperware.

The main Wedgwood motifs in jasperware, as well as in other wares like basaltware, queensware, caneware, etc., were decorative designs that were highly influenced by the ancient cultures being studied and rediscovered at that time, especially as Great Britain was expanding her Empire. Many motifs were taken from ancient mythologies: Roman, Greek or Egyptian. Meanwhile, archeological fever caught the imagination of many artists.  

In 1774 he employed the then 19 year old John Flaxman as an artist, who would work for the next 12 years mostly for Wedgwood. The "Dancing Hours" may be his most well known design. Other artists known to have worked for Wedgwood include among others Lady Elizabeth Templetown, George Stubbs, Emma Crewe and Lady Diana Beauclerk.

Wedgwood had increasing success with hard paste porcelain which attempted to imitate the whiteness of tea-ware imported from China, an extremely popular product amongst high society. High transportation costs and the demanding journey from the Far East meant that the supply of chinaware could not keep up with increasingly high demand. Towards the end of the eighteenth century other Staffordshire manufacturers introduced bone china as an alternative to translucent and delicate Chinese porcelain.

In 1812 Wedgwood produced their own bone china which, though not a commercial success at first eventually became an important part of an extremely profitable business.

Wedgwood is still in operation today and produces not only the finest china tableware, but Wedgwood also creates exquisite pieces of art for collectors all over the world.

Ormolu - (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).

Dimensions

W122.0 x H74.0 x D91.0 cm

Condition

Used

Wear condition

Excellent

Date of manufacture

1880

Period

Unknown

Style

Antique

Seller

VAT status

Seller is VAT registered

SKU

25379505
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