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Center Table

A work made of cuban mahogany and iron fittings.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of cuban mahogany and iron fittings.


c. 1755



About this artwork

Imagine how impressive this table would have looked when fully extended and set with silver at the center of a large hall glowing with candlelight. Made in England in the mid-18th century, it has a hinged top so that it could be placed against a wall when not in use.

The table is made of mahogany, which was imported to England from Central America and the West Indies. The dense and fine-grained nature of the wood made it suitable for carving in relief, as can be seen in the virtuoso carving of the table’s freize and legs. The legs have been shaped as rams’ heads with scrolling horns in high relief and swags of vines suspended from their mouths. Like goats, rams were traditionally associated with Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, and thus revelry, indicating that the table was probably intended for a dining room or banquet room.

18th-century English furniture is rarely marked or labeled, even on pieces of the highest quality, like this one. Although the names of several cabinetmakers have been proposed, it remains difficult, if not impossible, to attribute the table to a particular designer or workshop.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Center Table


England (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Cuban mahogany and iron fittings


Mark: on iron hinges "H. TIBATS"


Open: 75 × 183 × 108 cm (29 1/2 × 72 × 42 1/2 in.); Closed: 75 × 183 × 68.5 cm (29 1/2 × 72 × 27 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior acquisitions of the Antiquarian Society through the Jessie Spaulding Landon Fund, Mrs. Laurance H. Armour in memory of her father Henry Malcolm Withers, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Blum, Kate S. Buckingham, Mrs. James A. Cook, Joseph Nash Field, Mrs. T. Clifford Rodman, Florene May Schoenborn, and the Decorative Arts Purchase Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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