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A Dog's Life

07 September 2010

As an established interior designer, we thought you may be interested in this exclusive hand carved and silver gilt console table. The story behind it follows...

Of all animals, domestic and otherwise, dogs are not the best known for their sense of mystique. Cats - absolutely; they are the archetype of mystery. The African Bongo Antelope is nocturnal, camouflaged and timid. Tortoises can even make a retreat into themselves when the world prys too much. But dogs? They are better known for their loyalty, honesty and openness - qualities which make them well deserving of their title as Man's Best Friend.

Such was the case for Henry Stamp, co-director of Brights of Nettlebed, until he came across a mysterious mutt in the workshop of Mark Turner who specialises in gilding antique and replica furniture. Henry was intrigued by the piece which had markings on its back and base, which suggested it may have at one time been part of a larger piece of furniture.

The services of an interior designer were engaged, He felt that the dog had probably been part of an art deco console table. Out of curiosity (which might have killed the cat, but certainly revived the dog), designs were drawn up and sent to Brights' associate in Bali; Dewi Warsini, where the initial shape of the piece was made up. After a few minor teething problems and redrafts of the design between London, Indonesia and Exeter; the final shape was decided upon.

The journey wasn't quite over. Warsini worked with a large, modern factory which is excellent at drying the solid mahogany bases to withstand the arid conditions of modern double glazed centrally heated houses. However, for the final stages of the carving process, the individual pieces were separated and sent to artisan carvers (selected by Warsini for their expertise) elsewhere in Southern Indonesia, where there is a long ingrained cultural tradition of woodcarving. Here the finesse was added to the base pieces. The console was at this point assembled and sent to another artisan craftsman - this time a silversmith, to be gilded. It was then returned to the UK.

So after several months of work, this stunning Art Deco console table was resurrected by many hands, tens of thousands of miles apart. Perhaps one shouldn't let sleeping dogs lie, after all...

Available to view in our Henley-on-Thames showroom

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