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Image of Two-Tiered Side Table

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Unknown Artist

Two-Tiered Side Table

Wood, metal

26 in. x 30 in. x 30 in. (66.04 cm x 76.2 cm x 76.2 cm)
Bequest of M. Carey Thomas, President of Bryn Mawr College, 1894-1922

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: Deanery.379
Other Number(s): W.47 (Wyndham No.)
Classification: Furnishings and Furniture; Furniture; Table
Collection: Deanery Collection
Two-tiered side table. Four legs with cross brace support a tray with a carved lip. The lip has an elaborate cut out design of medallions below a continuous vegetal frieze. Between the medallions, small branches are carved in relief. Two handles sprout from this level of the table. The second tier of the table, which was slightly smaller, was supported by legs that were carved to resemble bamboo with leaves. The lip on the second tier also has cutout designs in an alternating linear design under a continuous geometric frieze.

Increased interest in and inspiration from Japanese art in the 19th century can be connected with the shift in social, economic, and political relations between America and Japan. From 1633-1853, Japan’s strict isolationist policy limited contact with foreigners. Over the course of 1853-1854, however, an American embassy coerced the Japanese government to adopt a treaty that would open Japan to foreigners. The influx of Japanese goods after the treaty exposed American artists to Japanese art and design. An example of the incorporation of these new artistic influences is the work of the American artist, Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932), at Bryn Mawr’s Deanery. The celebrated Blue Room in particular had gold designs that de Forest stenciled on the ceiling reminiscent of Japanese textiles, and the spiked flowers of the Japanese pagoda tree were the model for the stencil designs on the sofa and daybed.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Two-Tiered Side Table |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=7/31/2021 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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