Streisand’s Table, Acquired Taste

Barbara Streisand Empire Table
Empire Game Table

Trying to drum up interest in an empire game table these days may be a little like trying to sell a tree after Christmas. The country is just not in the mood for empire. A table coming up at Christie’s January 21 seems to have several things going for it beyond a stately and adorned demeanor, however. Imagine it for a moment in your mid-century modern apartment when a guest comments “that’s one ugly table.” At that point you could say “Barbara Streisand didn’t think so!” Of course guests can have bad taste, and so can decorators with clients who want something because it was owned by Streisand. In some eyes, empire (the preferred modern sales term is classical) is too this or that, but as art, the table is a masterpiece by Charles Honore Lannuier. Even those more impressed by the art than its owners will take note that the folks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art liked it too. It was included in an exhibit there, Honore Lannuier: Cabinetmaker from Paris, March-June 1998. Streisand bought it sometime after 1997 and sold it in 2003.

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