9234 AN EBONIZED AND BRASS-INLAID CENTER TABLE IN THE MANNER OF ‘PETERS OF GENOA’ WITH TOP OF PIETRE DURE AND MARBLES Probably Genoa. First Quarter Of The Nineteenth Century. Measurements: Height: 29 3/4″ (75.5cm) Width: 29 3/4″ (75.5cm) Depth: 22 1/4″ (56.5cm)
Ebonized and brass-inlaid, with inset pietre dure top. The rectangular top with gilt molded edge set with pietre dure panel depicting birds in flight around a basket of fruit, the top above a molded edge on a frieze with scrolling stylized foliate brass decoration set with a single drawer. The top raised on two trestle ends each with scrolling curving uprights with stylized foliate brass decoration raised on a central plinth flanked by zoomorphic legs raised on a plinth with brass banding set on two castors.
Sir Tristan Antico, Baramul Stud, New South Wales, Australia
“Intertwined flowers, fruit-laden branches, and multicolored birds [became] the distinctive emblem of Florentine mosaic in the seventeenth century and thereafter.”1 Such is the design of the present inlaid marble tabletop, distinctly Florentine in character and part of the development of the free-flowing naturalistic designs, which were peculiar to that city beginning in the 17th century and continuing well into the 19th century.
The elements of the present table base include fine brass inlay set into a contrasting ebonized ground, lotus-capped zoomorphic feet, and outsplaying trestle-end supports, all of which point to English Regency furniture design.
However, detailed inspection of the table brings to light constructional features that indicate a likely Italian origin: the secondary wood to the carcass is poplar, and the drawer lining, which reveals broad Continental dovetailing, is of maple.
Given this hybridization, it is possible to speculate on the English cabinetmaker, Henry Thomas Peters (d. 1852), as its author. Peters lived and worked in Genoa in the first part of the 19th century and supplied furniture for King Carlo Alberto.
1. Koeppe, Wolfram, Anna Maria Giusti, and Cristina Acidini Luchinat. Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008. 20.