11300

A PAIR OF MAHOGANY CENTER TABLES WITH ORIGINAL MARBLE TOPS ALMOST CERTAINLY BY J. DARMANIN & SONS OF MALTA

The Tables English or American. The Tops Maltese. Both Second Quarter Of The Nineteenth Century.

Measurements

Research
Each of mahogany. The circular tops with D-mold edge and plain frieze have a crossbanded border enclosing inset inlaid marble tops, one centered by a spread-winged parrot resting upon a single branch. The outer portoro marble band enclosing two rings of specimen marbles, one band with repeating ovals and lozenge shapes. The second marble top identically composed except the central roundel is set with a figure of a warrior holding a staff with the word Karthago engraved below. Each base with circular molded tapering stem held within a carved cup-shaped motif which in turn rests on gadrooned collars; evidence of past slight reduction in height at the very top of the stem; this has now been corrected. The plain tripartite incurved plinth raised upon three carved leonine feet.

The fine specimen inlaid marble tops of the present pair of tables were almost certainly executed by the firm Joseph Darmanin & Sons (translated from ‘Giuseppe Darmanin e Figli’) of Malta.

The important recent discovery of a Darmanin label on a circular center table in the Victoria & Albert Museum (figure 1) has led to the attribution of a number of table tops with shared characteristics. Made circa 1841 the top is decorated with a central roundel of the well-known ancient Roman motif “Pliny’s Doves,” surrounded with seashells and coral. The top rests on a mahogany pedestal and tripod plinth with gadrooned carving, similar to the present piece.

The Darmanin firm was first established by Giuseppe (1779-1863) on the Strada Levante, Valletta, and the Darmanin family became the leading 19th century marble workers of Malta. The location of the workshop near the harbor was ideal for the importation of marbles from abroad, as well as the arrival of foreign visitors.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.