Trapeza - Greek Banqueting Table in Bronze and Wood by Mark Harman


A bronze and wooden table, originally conceived to accompany the bed (Kline) as a banqueting table, as was required by the ancient dining customs of the Greeks.

The three bronze supports modelled on a surviving Roman copy of a Greek bronze table leg, now in the Museum at Palermo Italy, supporting a bronze and rosewood top.

Height: 780mm

Depth: 1345mm

Width: 775mm

The inspiration for this table is obviously derived from the images of such tables on attic vases, and usually seen to accompany the Klinaii, ( beds or couches), in symposium scenes.

The dimensions and details of this table though, due to the rarity of true ancient Greek examples, are taken from surviving Roman copies and the detailed examinations of the same in Gisela M. Richters' comprehensive work from 1966, "The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans".

The form is possibly derived from Egyptian tables, an example of which can be seen in a table of the XVIII dynasty in the British Museum. It was though the Greeks that refined this design and, “made of it a highly original and beautiful creation”, in fact remaining almost unaltered in vase paintings from the early 6th Century to the 4thCentury BC. It is from such representations that I have gained my references to form and construction. The curious concept of a rectangular table with only three legs was possibly an invention to provide a stable and solid surface on which to place food and drink, (three legs, as opposed to four, preventing the tendency to wobble on uneven floors), that could be placed comfortably with its long side in close proximity to the Klinaii.

In a modern context these tables will inevitably serve to occupy the function of representative and original centre tables, display tables or side tables.

Modelled on original Greek representations, artefacts, relics and vase paintings, Mark Harman designs representative fine valuable furniture inspired by G.M.A Richter, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Emmanuel Pontremoli (Kerylos) & Theodore Reinach.
Trapeza (Greek banqueting table) ~ Kline (Greek bed/couch) ~ Diphros/Diphroi (Greek stool/s).
Images © 2011 Mark Harman