Originally from Switzerland, Meret Oppenhiem was one of the women active in the surrealist movement in Paris in the 1930′s. It has been said that “Traccia” the bird leg table speaks of the lady like pastime of taking tea, and the gesture of offering up a tray in a feminine fashion. Personally I think it speaks more strongly of a feral Parisian life style on café terraces surrounded by pigeons. Apart from those famous birds legs there are also traces of an enormous birds foot prints on the oval table top. I can’t exactly imagine a domestic goddess allowing her tea things to be set down where a stork could hop up and trample them. It’s more likely the domain of a Wable under the table straight out of Dr. Seuess, tempting people with green eggs and ham .
There is another lovely example of Oppenhiem freeing up refinement through anthropomorphism, her famous fur covered cup and saucer and here is how it came to be. Apparently she was in a café with artists Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar when Picasso admired Oppenhiem’s fur bangle . He remarked that you could cover anything with fur, and her reply was that you could even fur cover the cup, saucer and spoon that was in front of them on the table.
Traccia is roughly the size of a café table with polished bronze legs. The oval table top with clam prints is gold leafed on the upper side, and the wooden underside is painted with gold coloured paint. Nowadays there is a silver version too. Originally designed in 1939 it has been re-edited since 1971. Be careful of the price that you pay for it, it should be possible to buy for around 2000€ but I have seen these go for far more surreal prices at auction, well maybe they were one that can lays eggs.