The Collection

  - Pair of Rococo console tables

Pair of Rococo console tables

South German, presumably Munich, c. 1730

Limewood, carved and gilded, rouge griotte marble top
H. 75 cm, W. 104 cm, D. 46 cm
The two S-shaped legs, each wound about with the tail of a dragon perched on its inner side, are joined by a sinuous stretcher crowned with an asymmetrical ornament. Decorated with sprays of applied acanthus leaves at the junction with the frieze, the console legs are enhanced with a moulding of beads and terminate in feet carved in imitation of bronze shoes. The frieze is underlaid with sculptural flourishes of acanthus and ornamented with carved basketwork and leaf-veins in low relief; in the centre is a shell cartouche with a curvaceous openwork surround.
After returning to Bavaria in 1715 Elector Max Emanuel vigorously promoted the imitation of French models in the arts, which finally led to the development and heyday of the specifically Bavarian form of Rococo. In pursuit of his goal he sent the architect Joseph Effner (1687–1745) and the Walloon François de Cuvilliés the Elder (1695–1768) to Paris for further training. The latter had been in the elector’s service since the age of eleven. The forms and ornamentation displayed by the present delicate pair of console tables are closely related to those in evidence on works by Effner and in Cuvillés’s furniture and engraved ornaments. Foremost amongst the motifs to which this applies are the winged dragons, which are also found on a number of console tables made at the same time, including a silvered pair by Cuvilliés at Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich (see Langer 2000, pp. 130–32, cat. no. 35), a gilded pair in the Neues Schloss, Schleißheim, made to a design by Joseph Effner and Johann Adam Pichler (d. 1761; ibid., pp. 90–92, cat. no. 15), a set of four gilded console tables by Cuvilliés in the Residenz, Munich (see Hojer/Ottomeyer 1996, pp. 151–54, cat. no. 31), and an important set of five gilded console tabl s and a related pair made in 1733–34 by Wenzeslaus Miroffsky to a design by Cuvilliés, which are also preserved at the Munich Residenz (Grüne Galerie; ibid., pp. 155–62, cat. nos. 32 and 33).
Literature: Hojer/Ottomeyer 1996
Gerhard Hojer/Hans Ottomeyer (Hrsg.), Die Möbel der Residenz München II, München 1996

Langner 2000
Brigitte Langer (Hrsg.), Die Möbel der Schlösser Nymphenburg und Schleißheim, München 2000

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