A pair of rosewood and marquetry occasional tables.
The circular tops inlaid with scrolls and stylised flowers above foliate-carved and pierced friezes on cabriole legs with shaped X-stretchers and scrolled feet.
‘Rosewood’ refers to any of a number of richly hued timbers, often brownish with darker veining. All rosewoods are strong and heavy, and were widely used in furniture making during the 18th and 19th centuries. In general currently, supplies are poor through overexploitation.
Marquetry is a decorative surface treatment in which thin pieces of wood, mother of pearl or metal are laid together in a pattern which is affixed to another sturdier support, usually on furniture or wood boxes. The word comes from the French word marqueterie. The technique has been used for centuries. Examples go as far back as ancient Egypt, where Egyptian tomb paintings show marquetry furniture being made and some of that furniture still exists. The technique consists of arranging numerous small pieces to form a design or picture. The pieces are assembled somewhat in the manner of a jigsaw puzzle and then glued to a sturdy supporting piece. The technique of marquetry is most often used on case goods and accessories. Traditionally, the process was both expensive and laborious because it involved a great level of skill and time to cut the pieces from the expensive woods and other material. The invention of the jigsaw blade near the end of the sixteenth century made it possible to work more quickly and even cut several pieces at one time. The increased speed and ease of use made it less expensive as it also cut down on wasted material. It was mainly under Louis XV and Louis XVI reigns that marquetry finished piece flourished and were in vogue