Hugentobler & Sturm, Blumberg (Birdwood), South Australia, Henry Hugentobler (cabinetmaker), Conrad Sturm (cabinetmaker)
Table [tilt-top]

Gallery 2

About this work of art

Audio description of the work of art

This wooden table constructed by cabinet makers Henry Hugentobler and Conrad Sturm, German immigrants to colonial South Australia, was made in 1878 in the town of Blumberg, now known as Birdwood, in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.

The table is 76.5 cm high and the circular tabletop is 138.5 cm in diameter.

The table has a tripod base. Three carved angled legs hold up a vertical pedestal. A tabletop sits centrally on top of the pedestal.

A ring of wood is attached to the underside of the tabletop, just in from the circular edge. Known as the apron, it would be positioned across the thighs of people seated around the table. With the top of the apron attached to the underside of the table, the lower edge is carved into an undulating pattern with downward points that evenly repeat six times around the circumference.

The table is highly decorated, for the table top, the apron, the plinth and the legs are covered with a geometric pattern.

Using a technique known as parquetry, different types of wood have been precisely cut into triangles, diamonds, squares and rectangles. The different shapes, about the size of a postage stamp, are meticulously pieced together and glued to create the pattern.

The small shapes are made from cedar, pine, stringy bark, red gum and black gum wood. The different types of wood are different shades of brown, from yellow-brown to dark brown, to almost black.

The pedestal and legs of the table are decorated with small brown diamond shapes, one below the other, in vertical lines down their lengths. Narrow repeating rows of zig-zags radiate outwards from the lines of diamonds. The same zig-zag pattern decorates the apron.

The top of the table is entirely covered with the parquetry pattern.

At the centre are 12 squares in a four by four grid. Each square is patterned with stripes, a simplified four-petalled flower at the centre.

Concentric rows of the zig-zag pattern, radiate outwards from this central square grid. Lines of diamonds and triangles amongst the zig-zags.

The entire table is smooth and shiny as the small glued pieces of wood have been sanded and polished.

The table top is usually horizontal, however a hidden mechanism in the top of the pedestal allows for the table top to be tipped vertically.