Louis XV Carved Giltwood Side or Console Table
formed of bold rococo scrollwork twined with climbing roses and with a central shell to the frieze and shapely cabriole legs supporting the later, serpentine, faux marbre top.
With its elongated sinuous design incorporating carved shell motifs, this table relates closely to the work of Pierre Contant d’Ivry (1698-1777) of the mid-1750s, at the Palais Royal in Paris and the Palais Bernstorff in Copenhagen, for the Danish Ambassador to the court of Louis XV, Baron de Bernstorff, an ardent francophile, who asked Contant d’Ivry to produce designs for his house in Copenhagen and its furnishings, including a pair of console tables (Svend Eriksen, Early neo-classicism in France, London, 1974, pp. 42-43, figs. 22-27) which appear to have inspired the present table. The symmetry in the rococo forms and frozen quality of the curves are characteristic of the rocaille symmetrisé, first evident in 1748-’49, as discussed by B. Pallot, L’Art du Siège, Paris, 1989, p. 132. This style would then further develop into the so-called Classical symmetrical rococo, preceding the beginning of neo-classicism, and the present table has elements of both stylistic phases. Two related console tables, with similar sinuous shapes to the present example, are illustrated in B. Pallot, ibid. pp. 154-155.