Decorative Arts: A perfect gift to her mother, the Empress of Austria

October 12, 2011

Decorative Arts: A perfect gift to her mother, the Empress of Austria

Martin van Meytens II, Portrait of the Empress 
Maria-Theresa of Austria. Oil on canvas,
c. 1745-1750. The John and Mable Ringling
Museum of Art.
Don't you just love furniture?! Having exquisite pieces not only enhanced your home in the 18th century, but spoke to your tastes in the finer things, making a statement to all of your friends and visitors.  One one occasion in 1777, Marie Antoinette herself had a  beautiful table created, which she thought ideal for her mother.

"How grateful I am to you: the magnificent table arrived in perfect condition ten days ago and everyone is admiring this marvelous piece of work."

Marie Theresa to Marie Antoinette, 4 March 1777.

I do not know what the table looked like exactly, but here are some fine examples of tables that were popular during this time.  ...And remember, the next time you need to get your mum a gift....a fine piece of furniture is always a pleaser!

German (Bamberg?), Card Table. Carved walnut frame; pine top with marquetry of walnut, figured walnut, boxwood, alder burl, birch, olive wood, plum, padauk wood, yew, green-stained poplar, and other marquetry woods; lined with modern velvet; iron fittings, ca. 1745-1750.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

France, 18th century, Console Table.  Material carved and painted wood, c. 1720.  The Cleveland Museum of Art.


Anonymous, 18th century (French), Console Table of Forged Iron. Frame of forged iron, varnished black; mounts of gilt repoussé iron; top and plinth of dark and light green marble flecked with red, c. 1730-1735. The Frick Collection.

Bernard Peridiez, European; French, 1723 - 1776, Work Table.  Wood marquetry with gilt bronze mounts, c. 1760. The Cleveland Museum of Art

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