About this artwork
This table is a rare example of the work of Friedrich Gilly, who was born in Pomerania, which is now part of Poland but was then part of the Kingdom of Prussia. Gilly trained with his architect father David Gilly, who had founded an important school of architecture in Berlin in 1793. A 1797 study trip through Austria, England, and France had a profound influence on the younger Gilly’s work. Friedrich did important architectural and interior design work for royal palaces and other buildings in Berlin, and even his designs for unrealized projects such as monuments and theaters influenced subsequent generations of German architects. Sadly, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 26.
In this table, Gilly incorporates several elements typical of the Neoclassical taste of his time, including the lyre shape, which was based on the harp-like instrument associated with the Greco-Roman god Apollo, whose head appears between the arms of the lyre. The tabletop is made of a type of limestone called pietra paesina (landscape stone) for the patterns that suggest valleys and hills.
- Friedrich Gilly
- Burl maple, fir or pine, gilt bronze, and marble
- 78.5 × 72 × 55 cm (30.9 × 28.34 × 21.65 in.)
- Through prior acquisitions of the Antiquarian Society through Mrs. Ralph Clarkson in memory of Ralph Clarkson, Emily Crane Chadbourne, Mrs. C. Morse Ely through the Antiquarian Society, Anne Rickcords Galt, Mrs. John L. Kellogg, Rudy S. Marx in memory of parents Max and Emmy Marx, Mrs. Chauncey McCormick, Mrs. C. Phillip Miller, Mrs. I. Newton Perry, Thomas B. Walton, M. M. Warsaw, and Mrs. Henry C. Wood