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French Billiard Table

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French Billiard Table

- Item No.

This table is a tour-de-force of 19th-century French design

Key Features

  • This extraordinary French billiard table is crafted of opulent rosewood in Gothic Revival style
  • Friezes adorned with detailed inlay depict allegorical scenes of a victorious France
  • The table's massive legs conceal cleverly disguised trap-door ball releases
  • The slate-topped table features two working game counters integrated into the bumpers at each end

Item Details

  • Width:
    59 Inches
  • Height:
    33 Inches
  • Length:
    105 Inches
  • Period:
    European 19th Century
  • Origin:
Exceptionally rare and beautifully constructed, this French billiards table is a celebration of the Gothic Revival style and of innovative 19th century design.

Architectural in form, this rosewood table is both a decorative and constructive masterpiece. Friezes adorned with detailed inlay depict allegorical scenes of a victorious France, and are supported by the table's massive legs. These legs, with their elegant spiral columns and pointed arches, also conceal cleverly disguised trap-door ball releases. The slate-topped table also features two functioning game counters integrated into the bumpers at each end, perfect for keeping accurate score. Though smaller in size than regulation tables, tables maintains a dominating presence that commands attention in any setting. Such an intricately crafted piece as this would surely have been made for only the most affluent customer. To find its like in such impeccable condition is extremely rare and astonishing. The table features its original label, and is marked "Ph. ROBIN, 44 Rue Ferrandiere LYON" on each counter.

Circa 1830

58 3/4" wide x 105 1/4" length x 33" high

Bertrand, Comte Clauzel distinguished himself in his service during the Fench revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic campaigns. Descended from a family of minor bourgeoisie, Clauzel, or Clausel, began his military career in 1789 by enlisting in the National Guard of Mirépoix. Over the course of his military career, he greatly distinguished himself for his loyalty, intellegence, capability and zeal, and was duly rewarded with several honors and promotions. The Gothic Revival movement, in England, France and America, reached its peak in the 1830s and 1840s. Based on French Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages, it not only influenced architecture and furniture design, but literature, painting and poetry, as well. It first emerged the 18th century, and was advanced in the 19th century by the chivalric writings of Sir Walter Scott, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Thomas Love Peacock. The revival of the Gothic style was firmly entrenched within the broader Romantic movement as part of a yearning for distant historical times of myth and legend, while promoting personal emotional expression over encroaching industrialization and dehumanization. Characterized by its use of elegant woods like walnut, mahogany and rosewood and motifs such as tracery, arches, quatrefoils, and spiral or spool turnings, Gothic Revival stood in stark contrast to Neo-Classicism, with its emphasis on the rational and on the remote pagan civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. This serious yet natural style succinctly encapsulated the rising tide of interest in individualism, nationalism, Christian religious fervor and love of nature. To its adherents, it was superior to all other styles, not only artistically but morally.

In France, the Gothic Revival became enmeshed within a movement by leading intellectuals and artists to conserve the country's artistic heritage. In 1830, as political stability returned intermittently to the country, a government department was established to preserve and protect national treasures, including the medieval city of Carcassonne, and to restore buildings such as Notre Dame de Paris under the supervision of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, French architect and theorist who was noted for his restorations of medieval buildings. Even the King of France, Louis Philippe, who reigned from 1830 to 1848, indulged his passion for earlier times by making his residence in the castle at Pau a showcase of Gothic Revival.
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Price: $128,500
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