French. Last Quarter Of The Eighteenth Century.


Height: 35 1/4" (89.5 cm)
Width: 42" (106.5 cm)
Depth: 20 1/2" (52.5 cm)

Of mahogany and gilt bronze. The shaped white marble top with two bosses to the mounted with a pierced gilt brass gallery and edging above a conforming frieze with gilt brass edging below, the frieze set to the front with a single drawer with gilt edged panelling set with two gilt ring handles, flanked by two curving dummy drawers with single gilt ring handle, the drawers divided by reeded panels of gilt bronze, each reeded panel above a circular tapering leg with gilt bead moulding and banding to the neck, fluted and set with chandelle mounts, the legs joined by a shaped X-stretcher with gilt edging, the centre supporting an urn surmounted by a gilt pine cone finial above a top with gilt stiff leaf decoration, the top above a fluted frieze, the urn with gilt reeding set to either side with a geometric handle, raised on a shaped socle with gilt cabaling to the base,  the whole raised on four feet continuing from the legs, each circular with gilt stiff-leaf and berry decoration above a moulded gilt foot. Stamped C.TOPINO to the reverse.

Acquired from an aristocratic family, Dorset, England.

Charles Topino (1742-1803) was elected maître-ébéniste in 1773 before being made deputé of his guild in 1782, a tribute to the esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries.

Topino specialised highly prestigious elegant neo-classical furniture of superb quality for members of the aristocracy, such as the marquis de Gravelle and the duc de Penthièvre. Topino’s furniture was often enriched with trompe l’oeil marquetry, however the present table belongs to a highly unusual group of just six known pieces he produced using richly figured mahogany mounted with gilt bronze.

The extremely rare pieces in Topino’s unadorned restrained style comprise a commode bearing the inventory label of Louis-Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre, now in the apartments of Madame du Barry in Versailles, and five demi-lune side tables made around 1785. The stamp on the present piece, in which the C appears as if a G indicates the table was made after 1780.

Among the tables are two pieces closely related to the present console. A table sold in Orleans in 1980 of very similar design and proportions was stamped by Topino and featured an identical vase (albeit with missing handles). A further table sold in Zurich in 1981 (figure 1) had an identical shaped stretcher and a very similar vase and was closely comparable to the present piece with only a few small differences for instance to the feet and the marble top.

Full research report available on request.


Full research report available on request.