Luxury Design, Past & Present
This gilt-wood table has a wide gadrooned edge enclosing a black marble top with a central still life of a Grecian vase, a string of pearls, shells, a branch of coral and some flowers, within a blue band, surrounded by four cornucopia and an additional laurel border. The variety of Italian stones includes semi-precious agates, some translucent, malachite and lapis lazuli. The whole is raised on a central turned baluster support and three legs, carved in high relief with acanthus leaves and deep scrolls. English, circa 1815.
This centre table is attributed to Gillows because the carved bosses on the curling acanthus leaves wrapping round the feet and the gadrooned edge round the top are typical of Gillows features. For a comparison see Susan E Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, (ibid), Vol 1, p.268. For other pietra dura tops see Anna Maria Massinelli, ‘The Gilbert Collection, hard stones,’ 2000 pp.109-110. It was common practice for wealthy travellers and young aristocrats to bring back pietra dura panels from their ‘Grand Tours’ and have them set into tables by English cabinet makers.