Side tables, ca. 1740
After a design by Matthias Lock (English, ca. 1710–1770)
Carved gilt pine with verde antico marble veneered top; each 33 1/2 x 73 1/2 x 1/4 in. (85.1 x 186.7 x 89.5 cm)
Purchase, Irene Roosevelt Aitken Gift, in memory of Russell B. Aitken; several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts; Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, Francis F. Randolph and Marion E. Cohn Foundation Gifts, and Bequest of Irwin Untermeyer, by exchange; and Oscar de la Renta Ltd. Gift, 2007 (2007.196.1,2)
This pair of monumental side tables are similar in many ways to a table in an unfinished drawing by the designer and carver Matthias Lock (ca. 1710–1770) in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Although Lock is best known for his designs in an English version of the French Rococo style, this particular drawing is in the bold manner associated with the English Palladian movement. Propagated in early eighteenth-century England by the architect and designer William Kent and his patron Lord Burlington, this architectural style also affected furniture design. The large shell motifs, classical masks, lion's paws, curling acanthus leaves, and running Vitruvian scroll on these tables are all characteristic of the style. Originally part of a larger set, these tables were specifically acquired for display in the dining room of Kirtlington Park, near Oxford, that is permanently installed at the Museum.