Mystery shrouds this unique, previously unknown table made in 1947 to honor the Allied landings in Normandy and the liberation of France.
France, 1947. "Table de la liberté n°1", gilded bronze and chrome-plated pedestal, green marble base shaped like a Maltese cross, chrome-plated bronze feet, bronze belt with double patina, porcelain plaques, h. 82 cm/ 32.28 in., diam. 82.5 cm/32.48 in.
The story has been told many times: an item forgotten in the back of an attic for generations unexpectedly turns out to be very valuable. History repeated itself near Chantilly, less than 31 miles (50 km) from Paris, with the discovery of an astonishing table commemorating the D-Day landings and the liberation of France in a house that was about to be emptied. Found in mediocre condition, it was restored before being presented to an auctioneer. Totally unknown, it is shrouded in mystery and raises many questions. It was once thought to be a masterpiece of craftsmanship, but the multiplicity of its materials, and, therefore of the artisans required to make it, rules out that possibility. The Maltese cross-shaped base is made of green and pink marble, and the astonishing plinth recalling Gustave Eiffel's architecture or perhaps evoking in a military vein, a transmission tower, is in chrome-plated bronze. A string of 16 chased bronze and porcelain medallions featuring portraits of Allied generals and heads of state decorate the bottom. The central composition is signed "AL Martin", the medallions with the monogram "LM". The rather amateurish workmanship rules out the hypothesis that the table was displayed at an international exhibition. The striking Statue of Liberty in the center suggests that it was more likely commissioned by an American, but the inscription under the large central porcelain plaque is inscribed in French: "Table de la liberté n°1, année 1947 France". The table’s creator, then, numbered it. Perhaps he intended to make other versions.A Tribute