M. S. Rau Antiques of New Orleans has put a 19th century games table on the market with a rather decadent history. The beautiful card table was made originally for the Albemarle Club in London. This was a popular member’s club which was founded in 1874 and was open for membership of both men and women. The club is infamous for being involved in the scandal that eventually led to the persecution of Oscar Wilde.
In 1985, in this very club the Marquees of Queensberry burst in demanding to see Oscar Wilde who was a member and frequented the club. The Marquees left behind his calling card with a note “For Oscar Wilde, a posing sodomite”. It was a criminal accusation at the time. Oscar Wilde claimed libel but was later prosecuted and exiled. The scandal doomed his writing career and he died in exile in Paris at 46.
The unique table has an elaborate key mechanism. “The Albemarle Club” is inscribed at the centre of the table. There are six drawers in the table each containing game pieces and boards and capable of operating as a gaming station. The craftsmanship of the table made out of Cuban mahogany is of the highest order. If you take into account the history associated with the table then its listed price of $175,000 is quite reasonable.
Via: Luxist , ArtFixDaily