Needlework walnut tripod card table

An early 18th century walnut tripod card table.

Height: 28″
Width: 30″ by 30″

This item is now sold


An early 18th century walnut tripod card/ games table. The octagonal, ‘bird cage’ supported top, with a framed applied border set with a fine gros and petit point early 18th century period needlework panel of good colour and condition.
The tripod base with bold out-swept, over-scrolled, well carved legs with in-scrolling feet. The faceted later tapering column support carved and set with rosettes and trailing foliage.
Evidence of old bracing and stabilizing to the underside of the top.
This walnut tripod card table probably re-constructed in the 19th century and some elements later carved. With a separate fitted glass protective top insert making this a versatile side, lamp or occasional table.

The highly desirable ‘bird cage’ mechanism enabled the top to both tilt and revolve. The ‘bird cage’, named after its appearance, was used in England but was more popular in America. An iron catch is fitted to the underside of the top to lock the top in place, with a tapering ‘key’ to lock the column to the top. The tilting top enables the table to be stored when necessary.

From a deceased estate.

For further reading:

Interestingly Heinrich Kreisel in his ‘Die Kunst des Deutchen Mobels Spatbarock und Rokoko’ illustrates an almost identical carved base no. 184 p.373. Ca. 1710-1720.

For similar designs for the unusual in-scrolling elaborately carved base see a pier table and matching candle stands by Jeremias Jakob Aberell & Heinrich Eichler Augsburg ca.1714-1715. The table we illustrate may well have Continental origins or, if English, certainly influenced by Continental cabinet makers designs.

Ralph Edwards mentions a ‘Tripod Card Table; top covered with needlework, mid 18th century’ on p. 522 of his ‘Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture’. A rare reference to these rare types of gaming tables.