October 26, 2010

Interior Decor: Athenienne

If you want to add some 18th century flair to any room, all you need is a pair of these!

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:
  1. as an ornament and focal point in the middle of a room
  2. as a table under a pier mirror , or in a corner, or as a pedestal to support a candelabrum or a piece of sculpture
  3. as a perfume burner
  4. as a heater for making coffee, tea, or chocolate
  5. as a goldfish bowl
  6. as a planter to grow bulbs in winter
  7. as a bowl for cut flowers
  8. as a device for keeping bouillon or other drinks warm."
An all around must have piece, no?


  1. I want one of theses. They must be rare as I have only seen them in museums and high end auctions.

  2. I love these they are so neat looking!

  3. This is random but I just noticed these darling plates on Anthropologie