A Late Regency Mahogany Center Table With Specimen Septarian Nodule Top.

June 4 2009, 3:05pm

This striking tabletop is a section of a septarian nodule, a type of concretion created when pores in a mass of sedimentary rock (usually fossils dating from the Cretaceous period, 50-70 million years ago) are filled in with jelly-like mineral deposits before hardening in a spherical form. The concretions are often reddish or golden in color, and are also called "turtle stones" for the radiating design made by their internal cracks. Septarian nodules can be as large as 9 feet across, though this tabletop was made using a smaller example, which was probably found in the region of the Oxford and Kimmeridge Clays along the Wessex Coast of England. The table's masculine and powerful base, with its design derived from early Roman bronze candelabra, is a particularly suitable vehicle to display this superb example of a Cretaceous period specimen.