List Price £2,200
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The table stands on three legs, with stylised big cat heads and dramatically curved bodies, which terminate in claw and ball feet. These legs continue upwards to form a single shaped stem, which supports a highly ornate circular table top.
Grotesque masks, figures holding spears and shields, and scrolling, fruiting grape vines decorate the outer edge of the table top. The next circular border of ornament steps down to occupy a lower level than the outer edge. This recessed band is decorated with classical busts, which alternate with ovolo forms, contained within cartouches set against foliate backgrounds.
The central medallion of decoration is raised slightly, and depicts a classical woman, standing with one foot in a miniature ship and the other holding a cornucopia full of fruit. It is possible this is a representation of the classical goddess of luck, known as Fortuna in the Roman religion (and Tyche in the Greek). Fortuna is often depicted with a ship’s rudder (gubernaculum) and the cornucopia of plenty. The image of the woman is contained within a circular frame, decorated with ovolo motifs.
Cast iron furniture became popular from the 1820s-30s onwards, following the widespread use of the metal for railway (and other types of building) construction during the Industrial Revolution. Since it is a durable material, iron was often used to make garden and outdoor furniture, but it was also used for domestic pieces, including bed rails, chairs and tables. This is a historically-important and beautiful piece of 19th Century cast iron design.
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