Friday, 20 February 2015

A strange trestle table from 1350

This miniature is from 1350 and shows two trestle tables - one large used by the king for dining (it looks like he is getting a medieval hamburger ... ), and one smaller side table for drinks. What is curious about the trestles is that the legs are placed very central on the bottom rail. The bottom rail on the other hand is very long; even larger than the width of the table board. This is the first time I see an illumination of such trestles, which look a bit unstable to me. I do, however, like the decoration on the bottom rails. Unfortunately, I do not have the source of this illumination.


  1. It looks to me like this might be the gothic prototype of this French Renaissance table.

  2. The miniature was too small to put in all the details, the artist was not certain of how to show a cross member, as it would have conflicted with his end legs so he left them off. he was not trying to show us what it looked like, but the people in his time knew what he would have been referring to in this illustration. Details were not generally important, rather the artist shows overall forms and lets the viewer fill in the details. he was not painting for us in the 2oth century, wishing we could see his world, but to his contemporaries who already knew what such a table looked like.