Center Table

View Larger

Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, designer (French, 1792–1867)
Hachette & Cie., manufacturer (Paris, France)
Center Table, 1833
Enamel on lava with mahogany and ormolu base.

Signed and dated 1833, this spectacular table was designed by Jacques-Ignace Hittorff and made by Hachette & Co. of Paris. Ferdinand Morteleque had developed a method whereby lava could be enameled with the durable yet bright colors, much like porcelain. It was intended for use on street signs and architectural decorations, and it was through its use on buildings that Hittorff, an architect, became interested in the technique.

He was hired by Hachette to create designs for enamel on lava, and this table is one of the most elaborate designs that Hittorff ever did for Hachette — and was probably made as a gift to encourage the receiver to commission the company to supply street signs.