Antique Vitrine Tables
An antique Vitrine table is a style of table featuring a glass-top compartment.
Brief history and description
A vitrine table is a table-form with a glass-top compartment, designed for the safe display of collectables, antiques and valuables. Many vitrine tables are lockable, to keep these belongings not only on display, but in safekeeping.
They were especially popular in Parisian design throughout the 19th and early 20th century, and have today found a new life as coveted and valuable collectables.
Guide for collectors
Antique vitrine tables are highly collectable, though often far from inexpensive, and therefore the oldest variations are largely unattainable except to those on large budgets. They have however appeared at both mainstream and specialist auctioneers, as well as at online live auction websites such as eBay.
Prospective collectors are advised to endeavour to carefully check the condition of a particular piece before purchasing, so as to avoid disappointment or paying more than a piece is worth.
Further information on antique vitrine tables is available from the Promuseum International website, which also houses a selection of vitrine tables from varying eras.
A rare pair of antique Vitrine tables designed by Francois Linke, dated from 1889, sold for $36,000 at an auction held at Sotheby’s New York on 26th October 2006. Additionally, an ebony and mahogany Parisian vitrine table dated from 1880 sold for $33,000 at another auction held at Sotheby’s New York, which took place on 28th November 2006.
A pair of Louis XVI-style gilt-bronze mounted mahogany vitrine tables from the early 20th century sold on 8th October 2004, also from Sotheby’s New York.
Despite often reaching high prices at auction, the value of a particular antique vitrine table is largely dictated by its historical significance, intricacies of design, and its condition.
Towards the lower end of the price scale, a Georgian-style mahogany vitrine table sold for $40 from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 14th January 2007.