C1820 French Walnut Rognon Table Adjustable height


I could hardly believe such a thing existed, but the tool marks, veneer thickness, oxidation, hardware and timber movement etc preclude this being a recent construction, and imply a date of manufacture in the early 19th century. The drawer manufacture is typical of late 18th century Lyonnaise cabinetmaking, but I will think this is  later. Wooden threads such as the mechanism that raises or lowers the table top are common in piano stools, sculpture tables and book presses of the period, but this is a remarkable application. Rognon (kidney) tables were popular in France for pulling up to a chair for taking food or beverages, working or reading at, at a time when a candle was needed for most activities. I am sure modern French people automatically put they laptops and TV dinners on such tables today. One can speculate it was made for children or disabled people, or for a particular activity that required the thing on the table to be raised or lowered, such as sculpture. At any rate it is a wonderful toy and a fine piece of practical furniture.

The drawer bottom is a replacement. Rich, lustrous and freshly polished preserving a lush patination. 76 cm by 60 cm. and the top can be anywhere between 55 cm and 71 cm.

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