Sunday, March 29, 2009

Word of the Day: CONSOLE

Console is a funny word. Makes you want to hug some random cry-baby and say "There, there now."

Or better yet, throw on that sassy red wig of yours and belt out a rowsing rendition of "The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun..."

But that's "con-SOLE" and we're interested in the antique term pronounced "CON-sole".

Ok, so here's an antique riddle: what kind of table can have four legs, three legs, two legs, or no legs at all?

This calls for a hilarious punch line--so if you think of one let me know. But since I can't think of anything I'll just tell you the answer: it's a CONSOLE table defined as a shallow table that fits up against a wall that can have elaborate ornamental struts or one to 4 legs and can even just be mounted to the wall with small brackets and no feet at all. Here's a handsome 18th c. Italian console (note the four legs):

List price: $53,500 USD

I think a console is best thought of as a narrow table that stands against a wall or, in the current vernacular, many will call it a sofa table meaning a shallow four legged console that stands behind a sofa; technically that's a misnomer (a real "sofa table" has drop leaves on each side) but let's not split hairs (since I only have about 12 left).

Here's a console with a matching mirror; this console really stands on only one elaborately carved leg:
List price (for the suite): $264,000 USD

And finally here is a solid marble console measuring over 10 feet long and having only brackets mounted to the wall for support (i.e., "Look ma, no legs!):
List price: $254,400 USD

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