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An unusual Italian early 19th century marble centre table, the top elaborately inlaid with specimen marbles including, amongst others, siena, jasper and rouge griotte decorated in bands of geometric and stylised foliate ornament. The base is fashioned as a baluster column with lotus leaves at the base and the whole supported on a square plinth.Marquetry in marble and precious stones has been known in Italy since the late 16th century with centres in both Florence and Rome. Circular tabletops with intricate specimen marble inlay became popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, aided by advances in stone cutting and polishing technology. Created almost exclusively for the tourist market, such tops were a typical souvenir of the Grand Tour, invariably a base being made for them on their arrival in England, as was the case here.
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