Glass Bead Decorated Centre Table

Johann Michael van Selow

Brunswick, Germany, circa 1760

Painted wood, glass beadwork decoration

Height: 76,5 cm (30 inch)
Width: 79 cm (31 inch)
Depth: 55 cm (21 1/2 inch) Ref No: 1861

Oak and pine wood with historical paint and marbling. The rounded rectangular dished top with moulded edge and decorated with a mosaic made of glass beads depicting a parrot seated in a branch framed by scrolling foliage, above a plain frieze, on cabriole legs.


The mosaic is in outstanding good condition, with only minor restorations to a few beads. Cracking and movement of the wooden frames made these pieces quite fragile, which may be one of the reasons for their rarity.

The authentic table frame of this table is made in Brunswick at the time and preserves its original paint and marbling. Often Van Selow exported only the table tops and the tables frames were then produced elsewhere or they have been replaced at a later date. Overall this table is in an excellent and rare to find authentic condition. The brilliant colours of the unfading glass beads is a strong reminder of the vivid and cheerful colours of the Rococo period.

The Van Selow Workshop

One of the rarest and greatest technical achievements of the eighteenth Century was German glass beadwork from Brunswick, with Johann Michael van Selow considered to be its finest craftsmen. Van Selow worked under the Royal patronage of Duke Carl I of Braunschweig. The factory was in existence less than twenty years (1755-1772) and few examples of this colourful beadwork exist. Examples of Van Selow’s work can be seen in the Städtische Museum in Braunschweig and in The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.