Share this article

print logo


Today it is usually called a "vanity table"; in the 19th century, it was a "dressing table"; but in the 18th century, it was known as a "toilet table."

The piece of furniture with all these names is a table with inset compartments that hold cosmetics, brushes, combs and other things needed to make up a face, powder a wig or take care of personal grooming.

Thomas Chippendale, of furniture fame, designed a "toylet" table in 1762 that had not only a mirror, but also a fancy, ruffled fabric skirt.

In the early 19th century, the dressing table became larger and often had several drawers and a mirror. The style of the leg, the shape of the brackets holding the mirror and the type of wood all help to date a table and determine its value.

Moose pitcher

Q: My ceramic "moose" pitcher is about 3 1/4 inches tall, with a handle on one end and a moose's head on the other. The brown moose-head forms a small spout, with its antlers forming the rim of the pitcher. The body of the pitcher is molded with indentations. The pitcher is light brown and green. On the bottom, a small circle surrounds the words "Made in Cze-o."

A: After World War I, potteries in Czechoslovakia copied various Royal Bayreuth shapes, including animal pitchers. Collectors call your pitcher "moose in tall grass." The body of the pitcher was molded and painted to look like tall leaves of grass. Your pitcher would sell for $35 to $50.

Serving set

Q: I have owned an Art Nouveau coffee-serving set for about 50 years. The tray, saucers and serving pieces are a bluish-silver metal alloy. The cups are white porcelain with an overlay of the same metal. The mark on each piece includes the words "Gallia Metal."?

A: Your coffee set was made by Christofle, a French company that has been in business since 1830. The company, founded by Charles Christofle (1805-1863), started out as a manufacturer of silver-plated hollowware. Later in the century, Christofle opened a plant in the south of France to produce pieces made from what it called Gallia metal. The style of your set dates it to around 1900.

There are no comments - be the first to comment