With a wealth of materials and a fusion of historic styles, this demi-lune (half-moon) table embodies the transitional taste of the French Directoire (1795–99). The spare, architectonic components of the design reflect an ongoing fascination with the classical forms of the ancient Mediterranean that was ignited by archaeological investigations begun earlier in the century. These Neoclassical elements are further enhanced by plaques featuring figural Greek motifs in the distinctive white on blue jasperware imported from Wedgwood Pottery in Staffordshire, England. More exotic imported materials include the original blue marble top and the mahogany veneer. The monumental form of a winged sphinx in gilded bronze that supports the table introduces a strikingly different element based on the new and rising interest in the artifacts of ancient Egypt. The broad wing span of the figure contrasts with the lean, single-leg support that assigns the table the term monopod (one foot).
From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Adam Weisweiler, French, 1750-1810
Maker Antoine-Léonard Dupasquier, French, 1748 - c. 1831
Designer Martin Eloi Lignereux, French, 1752 - 1809
Maker Pierre Philippe Thomire, French, 1751-1843
Title
  • Mahogany Pier Table with Sphinx Monopod
  • Console (alternate title)
Date ca. 1799
Medium mahogany veneer, gilt bronze, Wedgwood jasperware plaques, mirror, bleu turquin marble
Dimensions Overall: 36 × 58 1/2 × 19 inches (91.4 × 148.6 × 48.3 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase, Stoddard Family Foundation, Joseph H. Parsons Fund, Andrew L. and Gayle Shaw Camden Contemporary and Decorative Arts Fund, Janis and William Wetsman Foundation Fund, Alan, Marianne and Marc Schwartz Fund; and gift of K.T. Keller by exchange
Accession Number 2007.117
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View Era of Revolution S331.2, Level 3 (see map)
Gustave Duval, Paris by 1925
Château de Grand-Vaux, Savigny-sur-Orge, 22-24 June 1935, lot 382;
Professor Guy Ledoux-Lebard;
His sale, Artcurial | Briest - Poulain - F. Tajan, Hôtel Marcel Dassault, Paris, 20 June 2006, lot 144;
Richard Redding Antiques Ltd. (dealer), Zurich (purchased at TEFAF)
Marmottan, P. Le Style Empire: Architecture et decor d'interieurs. 3rd ed. Paris, 1925, pl. 28.

Ledoux-Lebard, D. Les ebenistes du XIXe siecle 1795-1889: les oeuvres et leurs marques. Paris, 1984, p. 437.

Cordier, Sylvain. Bellagé, ébénistes, une histoire du goût au XIXe siècle. Paris, 2012, pp. 401–403.

Darr, Alan Phipps, Yao-Fen You, and Megan Reddicks. “Recent Acquisitions (2007–15) of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts.” The Burlington Magazine 158 (June 2016): 501–512, p. 508 (ill.).

Bulletin of the DIA: Notable Acquisitions, 2000–2015, vol. 89, no. 1/4 (2015), p. 47 (ill.).

Richard Redding Antiques Ltd: 40 Years of Passion. Zürich, 2017, pp. 56-57 (ill.).