Chippendale Crocodile Mahogany Pembroke Table
Chippendale Crocodile Mahogany Pembroke Table
Chippendale Crocodile Mahogany Pembroke Table
Chippendale Crocodile Mahogany Pembroke Table
Chippendale Crocodile Mahogany Pembroke Table


Chippendale Crocodile Mahogany Pembroke Table

c. 1775 England

Offered by M. S. Rau Antiques


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Close examination of the very distinctive workmanship and design of this incredible Pembroke table, and it becomes clear that it is almost certainly a creation of the great Thomas Chippendale. Taken together, the distinguishing characteristics of this remarkable piece are quintessential Chippendale down to the last detail. This highly important furnishing can be counted as one of the few rare examples made by his hand that are still in private hands.

An unquestionable masterpiece, this "crocodile" mahogany, and tulipwood table are nearly identical to the Pembroke table Chippendale created for the famed Paxton House, a Scottish estate born from a collaboration between Chippendale and Robert Adam, two of the most celebrated names in architecture and cabinetmaking. Paxton House is considered amongst the greatest of Chippendale commissions, exhibiting both classic and opulent designs from the celebrated cabinetmaker. In terms of quality and overall workmanship, the present table is closely related to the family of furniture known to have been supplied by the cabinetmaking virtuoso.

While today Chippendale is celebrated as the greatest cabinetmaker of his era, and perhaps of all time, his business life was far from financially stable. Over anything, he valued perfection in his work, seeking exceptional quality in each and every one of his pieces and spending painstaking hours on even the most minute details. While this slowed his production and resulted in him dying penniless, the outcome was some of the most exquisite pieces of furniture ever constructed.

This table is one such example. The incredible attention to detail, impeccable proportions, and highest quality materials are evidence of Chippendale’s commitment to pursuing perfection. The mahogany would have been an enormous expense, with its flawless “crocodile” grain that is perfectly suited to the table. The delicately curved, slender legs are the epitome of grace and rest atop casters that make the table appear to float in its space. Even the drawer possesses a depth that spans the entire length of the table.

Conceived in the fashionable French style, this Pembroke table embodies the very best characteristics of Chippendale’s distinctive design. The table’s butterfly top and beautifully carved cabriole legs are classic Chippendale and can be seen in other designs from the same period. A pair of card tables and a chair crafted by Chippendale for Sir Lawrence Dundas’ drawing room at Dumfries House exhibit the same cabriole legs as illustrated in The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, by C. Gilbert. Another table by Chippendale’s hand at Dumfries House also features the same distinctively shaped top with its sinuous lines and butterfly wing flaps, an unusual style for the period.

The talent and genius of Thomas Chippendale’s designs defined the furniture styles of the 18th century. His designs became so prominent and highly desirable during his lifetime that his entire style came to bear his name, a first in history that did not take the name of the reigning monarch. In 1754, he published The Gentleman and Cabinetmaker’s Director, which became the most important text on furniture design in its day. The book contained over 161 plates with an astounding range of furniture in the Gothic, Chinese and Rococo styles. Soon, this modest craftsman counted numerous members of nobility and society among his clientele, including Catherine II of Russia and famed actor David Garrick. He also obtained substantial contracts with the noble houses of Nostell Priory, Harewood House, Burton Constable, Ayrshire and Kent, some of which still house many of his finest pieces in their private collections. Today, the name Chippendale invokes images of refined taste and unparalleled elegance. It is no wonder masterpieces such as this rare Pembroke table are so treasured by collectors.
Collection of a private collector, New York.
Height 29.00 inch (73.66 cm)
Width 32.00 inch (81.28 cm)
Depth 30.00 inch (76.20 cm)
Stock Code
M. S. Rau Antiques

M. S. Rau Antiques
630 Royal Street
New Orleans
United States

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