Picture This LXIII

Since posting Picture This LIX, I have come across a few additional images of tables incorporating open- and blind fretwork.

The juncture of the rail and leg of the table in figure 1 is a rather clumsy combination of open fretwork and carving.

Geo_III_mahogany_centre_table_c1765_01a_Ronald_PhillipsFig. 1. Open fretwork table rail and corner bracket, circa 1765. (Ronald Phillips)

The blind fretwork on the mahogany table in figure 2 presents seamless decoration across the rails and legs.

Geo_III_mahogany_centre_table_c1755_01a_Ronald_PhillipsFig. 2. Blind fretwork table, circa 1755. (Ronald Phillips)

The card table in figure 3 is similarly decorated with blind fretwork. Note the small curlicue in the fretwork veneer at the top left of the leg has popped off (double click the image to enlarge it).

Geo_III_mahogany_card_table_c1765_01a_Ronald_PhillipsFig. 3. Blind fretwork table, circa 1765. (Ronald Phillips)

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Antiques, Picture This and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Picture This LXIII

  1. D.B. Laney says:

    I have to say that the fellow responsible for Fig. 1 had a nice, simple approach to “turning the corner” with that bead, which, I’ve found, can be a challenging task.


  2. Eric R says:

    Examples in Figures 2 & 3 are very nice indeed.
    Figure 1, not so much.
    Thank you Jack Plane.


  3. Mihai Radu says:

    Fig. 1 – I wouldn’t necessarily call it clumsy – it was just a need – to protect the joint. Generally I will agree that Fig 1 is not the best of of the 3.
    Fig 2 has beautiful repetitive carving right under the edge of the table. Reminds me of the Arabian motifs
    Fig 3 stands out. Beautiful. I would personally left the first row from the side of the table uncarved. I do not see a reason why 2 rows the same…


  4. Les Elsie says:

    I was surprised you didn’t mention the so-called Tufft table on the blog entry detailing open fretted tables.

    The Tufft open fretted table was sold at a Christie’s auction house in Philadelphia for $4.6 million in January 1990. I believe this is the highest amount for any piece of furniture sold at auction. Thomas Tufft made the table around 1776.

    I don’t have a decent pix of the original but a reproduction of the table can be seen at http://www.richardrothstein.com/pier-table-tt1.htmlhttp://www.richardrothstein.com/pier-table-tt1.htm


    • Jack Plane says:

      I hadn’t heard of Thomas Tufft until now. Being from a small pool, the table is indeed rare, but it’s not a particularly notable example of eighteenth-century open fretwork. I strive for images of exemplary British work to illustrate my posts on British furniture.



  5. D.B. Laney says:

    Thomas Tufft may well have considered himself to be a British cabinet maker. His customers were the elite of Philadelphia, who were, overwhelmingly, Tory in their political sympathies. While most American craftsmen “leaned left”, Tufft may have shared his clients’ political views or, at least, suffered divided loyalty. The bulk of Tufft’s work pre-dates Lord Cornwallis’ surrender on October 19, 1781. Prior to that date, what is now the U.S.A. was part of the British Empire, at least as far as the King was concerned.


    • Jack Plane says:

      Indeed. Most of what are now (and were then) considered North America’s finest seventeenth- and eighteenth-century East Coast craftsmen pandered directly to colonial loyalists, providing them with fashionable commodities.

      As time passed, the earlier English craftsmen’s style and techniques were diluted, or some might say, ‘evolved’, and the most recently arrived English immigrant craftsmen – not only cabinetmakers, but carvers, jewellers, silversmiths, tailors etc. – found favour with the colonial elite because they brought the latest English tastes with them.

      However, the Tufft table is anything but English in style.



  6. Pingback: Picture This LXXXVI | Pegs and 'Tails

  7. Pingback: Picture This XCV | Pegs and 'Tails

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