9631 A MAGNIFICENT EBONY, PIETRA DURA AND GILT BRONZE MOUNTED SIDE TABLE IN THE MANNER OF ROBERT HUME Probably English. Second Quarter Of The 19th Century. Measurements: Height: 36 1/4″ (92 cm) Width: 64 1/2″ (164 cm) Depth: 20 7/8″ (53 cm)
Of ebony with gilt bronze mounts set with pietra dura plaques. The later shaped belgo nero marble top set within a gilt bronze egg and tongue molding. The frieze to the front and sides incorporating four panels of raised pietra dura work depicting ripened fruits. The central lambrequin motif edged with finely cast gilt bronze tassels and enclosing a panel of pietra dura centred by an oval agate heart within a shield on a lapis background. The four boldly formed ebony and brass strung legs headed by winged female masks and terminating in gilt bronze leonine feet. The whole resting on a shaped restored plinth (small later urn was removed) with inset panels of pietra dura with gilt bronze acanthine frames.
Robert Hume was a London carver, gilder, cabinet maker and dealer whose various addresses included 11 Crown St., St. Giles (1808); 34 Gt Titchfiled St, Cavendish Square (1809-11); 4 Gt Portland St (1817); 4 Little Portland St. (1820); and 65 Berners St. (1837).
He is known primarily for his furniture embellished with hardstone and pietre dure elements.
In England, “The ‘pompous’ taste of the Second Empire…continued to produce furniture so imposing that it was almost oppressive. These furnishings wnlivened the slightly funereal harmony of black painted wood with gilded bronze by inserting vivacious panels of Florentine inlays dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.”1
Hume supplied furnishings for such celebrated patrons and collectors as William Beckford at Fonthill Abbey, George IV, George Watson Taylor, The Duke of Hamilton.
1. Pietre Dure: The Art of Semiprecious Stonework By Anna Maria Giusti