Mechanical table

Maker: Jean-François Oeben (French, born Germany, Heisenberg 1721–1763 Paris)

Maker: and Roger Vandercruse, called Lacroix (French, 1727–1799)

Date: ca. 1761–63

Culture: French

Medium: Oak veneered with mahogany, kingwood, and tulipwood, with marquetry of mahogany, rosewood, holly, and various other woods; gilt-bronze mounts; imitation Japanese lacquer; replaced silk

Dimensions: Overall: 27 1/2 × 32 1/4 × 18 3/8 in. (69.9 × 81.9 × 46.7 cm)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.60.61

Description

Oeben, born in Heinsberg near Aachen, was known for his naturalistic floral marquetry and for his skills as a mécanicien which are apparent in the elaborate mechanism of this table with its sliding top. He made a number of such sophisticated tables. This particular one, with the unusual pierced openings in the curving legs, was intended for Madame de Pompadour. The main charge of her coat of arms, a tower, appears at the top of the gilt-bronze mount at each corner. The table was left unfinished at the time of Oeben's death in 1761 and completed by his brother-in-law Roger Vandercruse known as Lacroix.

Related