9788 A RARE GEORGE III DEMILUNE SIDE TABLE IN THE RETOUR D’EGYPTE TASTE English. Last Quarter Of The Eighteenth Century. Measurements: Height: 35 1/2″ (90.5 cm) Width: 47 3/4″ (121 cm) Depth: 25 1/2″ (65 cm)
Of giltwood and fine composition. The original demilune statuary marble top with reeded edge rests upon a frieze with scrolling composition-work foliage, interspersed by broad-lidded vases. The frieze is supported on four square tapering legs, each with deeply incised Egyptian hieroglyphs, all headed by carved male busts with Egyptian headdress. The human feet of stylized Egyptian form. Largely re-gilt; the gesso foundation and bolus has been carefully preserved.
Furniture made in the Egyptian taste prior to 1800 in England is very rare. This piece is an excellent example of the transition between the light neoclasically-inspired taste as championed by Robert Adam, and the incoming Egyptian vogue which was to flourish after Nelson’s victory over Napoleon on the Nile in 1798, as well as the influential survey of Egypt by Baron Vivant Denon, Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte, in 1802.
The demilune shape and ornament of the frieze help to place the table well before the Egyptian mania took hold.