11618 AN EXTRAORDINARY PAIR OF GILTWOOD SIDE TABLES CARVED WITH CROUCHING “CHINESE” PHEASANTS BELOW EAGLES WITH TRAILING FOLIAGE Possibly Sicilian or Neapolitan. Late Eighteenth or Early Nineteenth Century. Measurements: Height: 35″ (88.9 cm) Width: 27 1/4 (69.2 cm) Depth: 14 1/4″ (36 cm).
Of carved and gilt limewood. The old but probably later veined white and green marble tops rest on old but probably replaced slim cavetto molded supports. The bases are topped by addorsed eagles flanking eucalyptus branches and perched on a fretted interlocking circles rim, each bird holding the end of a cascading garland. Beneath is a waisted body formed of an elongated pierced guilloche pattern which rests on two addorsed crouching pheasants, The whole resting on a plan brown and white veined marbleized plinths. Very old refreshments to gilding particularly to the floral swags. Minor repairs commensurate with age and use.
Paper labels with indistinct writing on the underside the tops.
Indistinct ink inscription, possibly a signature, beneath molding of plinth
Above all other centers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century decorative arts in Europe, perhaps none surpassed Italy in terms of inventiveness and experimentation in design.
Most notable in this regard were the works of Ennemond Alexandre Petitot in Parma and Giovanni Battista Piranesi in Rome. Petitot’s iconic designs for vase forms from his Suite de Vases (1764) and Mascarade a la Greque (1771) depicts classical prototypes distorted and decorated in imaginatively masterful ways sometimes verging on the outlandish.
Full research report available on request.