Parlor table

Unidentified artistca. 1860

de Young museum

de Young museum
San Francisco, CA, United States

Many 19th-century American architecture and furniture styles were inspired by historical design vocabularies such as Greek Revival or Renaissance Revival. Promoted by European designers and reinterpreted by their American counterparts, these imported styles became fashionable in the United States, which was perceived as having few uniquely American cultural traditions.

This parlor table is an example of Rococo Revival, the most popular furniture style in the United States during the second half of the 19th century. Also known as
“French Antique,” it drew inspiration from the Rococo designs favored at the court of King Louis XV (1710– 1774), and it retained an aura of aristocratic taste that appealed to wealthy Americans. Rococo Revival furniture, which rejected classical order and symmetry in favor of elaborate naturalistic ornamentation, often incorporating flowers, was deemed particularly suitable for decorating home parlors, which Victorians considered to be an appropriate sphere for women.

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  • Title: Parlor table
  • Creator: Unidentified artist
  • Date: ca. 1860
  • Physical Dimensions: w44 x h31 1/4 x d31 1/4 inches
  • Type: Furniture
  • media: carved and laminated rosewood, marble top
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Katherine M. Sage