A piece of furniture that became en vogue during the 18th century was the Athenienne, which came in pairs. The design was a French twist on a classical piece, which made its appearance in France around 1773. The essential pedestal table is supported by a tripod base. You can have them in your living room or any room where you might entertain.
I love Christies' description of this versitile period piece:
"The multi-purpose athénienne was intended for entertaining in the salon or boudoir and was accordingly fitted with casters and an ormolu-mounted patinated copper cassolette, silvered on the inside and containing a removable spirit lamp, above which was set a tin-plated double boiler, surmounted by a marble slab and a patinated copper cover.
The uses of the Athénienne were eight:
- as an ornament and focal point in the middle of a room
- as a table under a pier mirror , or in a corner, or as a pedestal to support a candelabrum or a piece of sculpture
- as a perfume burner
- as a heater for making coffee, tea, or chocolate
- as a goldfish bowl
- as a planter to grow bulbs in winter
- as a bowl for cut flowers
- as a device for keeping bouillon or other drinks warm."