9226 AN UNUSAL ‘X’ END REGENCY MAHOGANY WRITING TABLE English. Circa 1820. Measurements: Height: 28 1/4″ (72 cm) Width: 60″ (152.5 cm) Depth: 48″ (122 cm).
Of mahogany. The rectangular top with leather inset, rounded to the corners with a molded edge above a plain frieze, the top raised on two curving X-shaped trestle ends with two foliate paterae to the center, joined by two circular turned stretchers, the lower lengths molded to the upper face, each leg terminating in a brass cap and raised on castors.
The bold and powerful base of the present table is of the X-form shape much favored by the ancient Romans and Greeks for use in seating, as well as tables, as illustrated in a carved funerary relief from the Torre Gaia on the Via Casilina, Rome. Roman senior officials of all kinds were entitled to sit on a similar folding seat then known as a curule. Whilst it symbolized authority, its low arms and missing back also ensured it was not comfortable to sit on for long periods of time, encouraging the occupier to apply himself to his job fully, thus causing the chair to symbolize efficiency and speed.1 That it folded and could be easily transported additionally suggested both importance and wealth.
Full research report available on request.
1. See Thomas Schäfer, Imperii insignia: Sella Curulis und Fasces. Zur Repräsentation römischer Magistrate, Mainz 1989.