This is a beautiful pair of antique English shaped-oval Gonçalo Alves marquetry inlaid occasional tables, late 19th Century in date.
The tables are beautifully inlaid in the elegant Edwardian manner with satinwood and ebonised crossabanded decoration, and each features a pair of serpentine flaps that can be raised or lowered as required. Each has a useful frieze drawer and is raised on elegant square tapered legs that terminate in the original brass and porcelain castors. The legs are conjoined by stunning fret-cut galleried under-tiers.
Add an elegant touch to your home with these lovely versatile tables which can be used as end tables or bedside tables.
In really excellent condition having been beautifully celaned and waxed in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 65 x Width 48 x Depth 45
Dimensions in inches:
Height 25.6 x Width 18.9 x Depth 17.7
is a hardwood (from the Portuguese name, Gonçalo Alves). It is sometimes referred to as tigerwood — a name that underscores the wood’s often dramatic contrasting color scheme, that some compare to rosewood.
While the sapwood is very light in color, the heartwood is a sombre brown, with dark streaks that give it a unique look. The wood’s color deepens with exposure and age and even the plainer-looking wood has a natural luster.
Two species are usually listed as sources for gonçalo alves: Astronium fraxinifolium and Astronium graveolens, although other species in the genus may yield similar wood; the amount of striping that is present may vary.
In the high tropical forests of Central and South America, well-drained soils furnish nutrients for a variety of dense, durable hardwoods sought for maritime use, heavyconstruction, and furniture. The Spanish began harvesting in Latin American forests in the early 1500s to provide timber for boatbuilding and repair. By the early 1900s, however, steel ships had replaced wooden ones, and the interest in tropical forests by both Europeans and Americans shifted to appearance-grade woods for furniture.
Although history fails to provide us with a shopping list of species from either harvest period, it’s probable that the wood we know today as goncalo alves has always been sought. That’s because goncalo alves, considered one of the most beautiful of tropical woods, has a tough reputation, too. Strong and durable, it’s used for construction in its homeland and secondarily for fine furniture. Woodworkers elsewhere treasure the wood for decorative items and veneer accents.
is decorative artistry where pieces of material (such as wood, mother of pearl, pewter, brass silver or shell) of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.
The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian “Cosmati”-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the “hardstones” used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and coloured marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a coloured marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.
Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centres of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing shell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs.
Our reference: 09022