An Elegant Regency Black Japanned & Gilt Chinoiserie Decorated Sofa Table

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1820
Height: 28.5 inches
Width: 34 inches or 57.5 inches extended
Depth: 24 inches

The Regency period japanned and gilt decorated sofa table having a decorated top depicting a landscape scene of figures and a pagoda surrounding by trees and flowers within a floral and trellis border with two frieze drawers with the original pearl drop handles, and two dummy drawers to the reverse, the whole on lyre shaped supports with further decoration of figures and flowers joined by a central stretcher on out-swept legs and cast brass paw feet and castors surviving from the first quarter of nineteenth century England.

The condition of the table is truly country house, i.e. lived in but thoroughly evocative and although she has had a few repairs she remains relatively stable and sound. There are several deficiencies to the lacquer to note; with scuffs and losses though overall it remains an attractive piece in its entirety with a very well established patination and craquelure to the lacquer in many areas especially to the drawer fronts. There are three areas of repair where there have been iron brackets fitted to give more stability. These are all old repairs, late Victorian or early twentieth century. This piece is not for those who like their furniture perfect or restored. We love pieces that show their battle scars and remain in un-restored condition, many of these japanned pieces were re-decorated in Victorian times, here we see the original Georgian paint. We also see the fantastic original lions paw feet and original pearl drop handles which is a nice surprise.

The fine art of chinoiserie has been in existence since the 17th century, and it depicts Chinese style designs applied to furniture, ceramics and fabrics. Chinoiserie is wonderfully beautiful, and tends to depict realistic and fictitious animals, insects, people, foliage, structures and various other elaborate Asian designs that can be incorporated into a number of decorating themes. Antique pieces embellished with Asian-style chinoiserie and high-quality japanning are coated with baked-on layers that look very much like modern-day high-gloss enamel. Chinoiserie that has been japanned is coated with many layers of resin-based gloss and baked dry. Much polishing goes into the true technique of japanning, and high-quality pieces will appear to have deep layers of gloss with the sheen of fine marble, but true antique pieces like this will show signs of age and wear.

Sofa tables decorated in this way from this period are scarce (try and find another right now!) and the pleasing untouched condition to this example means it is incredibly desirable.