The tabletop of Elector Ferdinand Maria (1636-1679) with its magnificent inlays of mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell and ebony shows depictions of the themes of hunting, war and games. In the surrounding frieze, the educated observer of the seventeenth century recognised a popular ancient hunting theme: the hunter as the hunted. Thus a hare is hunted by a fox, the fox by the hound and the dog by the lion. The pedestal of the table hides a trictrac board. The tokens are now in the Bayerische Nationalmuseum.
Elector Max Emanuel (1662-1726), who was appreciative of the arts, recognised the high artistic, representative and material value of this tabletop and had a new pedestal created for his father's table in c.1790. Thereby, the table underwent an increase of allegorical meaning from the depiction of aristocratic life and representation to the glorification of the patron's own person. Two bound Turkish warriors carry the weight of the tabletop on their shoulders. They flank two eagles which balance the table top on their extended wings. Diverse weapons are distributed on the base panel. Max Emanuel, the Christian ruler, presents himself here as the celebrated “conqueror of the Turks” - a motif that was of the utmost importance for his self-image. The magnificent table was probably not used as a games table, but as an object for representation.
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