Metamorphic Library Table-steps (England), ca. 1795
This is a Metamorphic library table-steps. It was designed by Thomas Sheraton. It is dated ca. 1795 and we acquired it in 1967. Its medium is mahogany, brass, felt. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
This cleverly designed library table conceals a nearly six-foot ladder, whose steps may be put up or taken down in mere seconds. It was built after designs published in 1793 by the London cabinet maker Thomas Sheraton, who in turn was inspired by a piece made by Robert Campbell for the private library of Prince of Wales (later George IV of England). During the eighteenth century, pieces of metamorphic furniture were sometimes described adjectivally as being “harlequin”, after the transformative nature of the Commedia dell’arte character Harlequin, who was capable of transmuting himself into another character, an animal, or even an inanimate object.
This object was
It is credited
Gift of Anonymous Donor.
Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 82.3 x 104.5 x 59.6 cm (32 3/8 x 41 1/8 x 23 7/16 in.) H x W x D: 184.2 × 121.9 × 59.7 cm (6 ft. 1/2 in. × 48 in. × 23 1/2 in.)
Cite this object as
Metamorphic Library Table-steps (England), ca. 1795; Designed by Thomas Sheraton (English, 1751 - 1806); mahogany, brass, felt; H x W x D: 82.3 x 104.5 x 59.6 cm (32 3/8 x 41 1/8 x 23 7/16 in.) H x W x D: 184.2 × 121.9 × 59.7 cm (6 ft. 1/2 in. × 48 in. × 23 1/2 in.); Gift of Anonymous Donor; 1967-45-28
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Ellen DeGeneres Selects.