Height 27 ½ inches, Diameter 17 ¾ inches
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A 19th century New Zealand specimen wood parquetry dodecagonal table, attributed to Anton Seuffert, inlaid with a central stellar of various indigenous woods including kauri, mangeao, towai and rimu on a rewarewa ground, the base in Australian cedar with spirally turned shaft and tripod legs carved with leaves and flowerheads on scroll feet. Southern hemisphere, circa 1860.
Footnote: Closely related examples by the celebrated cabinet-maker Anton Seuffert (1815-1887) of geometric inlaid tripod tables are illustrated in B. Peet, The Seuffert Legacy, pp. 111-114. Seuffert intended his similar tables as drawing or sitting room furniture and referred to them as card tables, probably for depositing business or postal cards on rather than for playing cards. Seuffert almost exclusively made circular tables and used concave rather than convex mouldings. The use of well-seasoned cedar as a carcase wood, as in this example, has meant that the top has survived in a better state due to its low moisture content, as opposed to those produced in the sapwood, rimu or kauri.
Anton Seuffert (1815-1887), was born in Bohemia and initially worked as cabinet maker in the court of the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph I. After working in England for Leistler & Sons of Vienna, who had exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851, he moved to New Zealand in 1859. Seuffert established his own business specializing in the production of complex marquetry inlaid furniture and objects using the incredible variety of exotic woods available in New Zealand. In the London 1862 exhibition the citizens of Auckland presented his standing writing desk to Queen Victoria. His skill in marquetry and design earned him recognition at the 1873 Vienna Exhibition and a medal at the Paris 1878 Exposition Universelle. His sons joined him in the 1880s and the firm continued for over 80 years, cementing their reputation as New Zealand’s premier suppliers of marquetry furniture.
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