9071 A HIGHLY UNUSUAL CIRCULAR CENTER TABLE Probably Eastern Europe. First Quarter Of The Nineteenth Century. Measurements: Height: 30 3/4″ (78cm) Diameter: 48″ (122cm) Height when closed: 56 1/4″ (143cm).
Of pearwood with ebonised decoration and incised and inlaid with white scagliola. The circular top centred by an inlaid scene depicting a seated couple in a suggestive pose, the top edged with a continuous band of incised and inlaid stylised foliate classical decoration, the whole raised on a restored reeded stem and three inlaid downswept legs, each leg terminating in a hooved foot, the top inscribed CUO FALI.
Private Collection, Sydney, Australia
The vignette depicted in the central reserve of the top appears to suggest an intimate encounter between two seated finely attired male and female figures. It is a particularly unusual example of figural inlaid decoration in nineteenth century furniture, and is especially interesting for having somewhat erotically suggestive overtones.
The use of ebonized and white scagliola decoration for the vignette evokes the black figure vase painting of ancient Greece.
Recent research has revealed that the inscribed phrase on the tabletop, Cuo Fali, may be Serbian or Croatian, translating to “I heard wrong.”