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Origin: Italy
Circa Date: 1780
Stock No: F2J0086
Location: New York
H: 34.6 in (88.0 cm)
W: 56.7 in (144.0 cm)
L/D: 27.2 in (69.0 cm)
Price Range:
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A pair of cream and blue painted, parcel gilt side tables with pink mottled marble tops within white borders; above egg and dart friezes, the aprons centred by urns and stylised swan cornucopia, the square tapered panelled legs with carved bellflowers and headed by medallion motifs.

They are a very classical, and attractive, pair of late 18th century pier tables. They are uniquely Italian and are a great example of a pair of tables that could not have come from anywhere else, at that time. They are typical of their origin in their immediately attractive painted decoration, and the very pleasing harmony of colours of their pink and white-bordered marble tops with the blue and the gilt decoration of the bases.

They are sophisticated Italian tables for their period, in form they have some of the severity of the late Louis XVI and the Directoire periods, but are an early example of what became a favoured Italian model, under the Empire, of consoles with two pairs of front legs, at either corner. In the first decade of the 19th century, under the Greek and Egyptian revivals, these columns could take the form of caryatids, lion or female headed terms, or over-scaled classical pillars. Almost always they would be joined by a stretcher, or rest on a plinth that mirrored the table top above.

The current pair retain an elegant restraint, both in their outline and in the elements that make up the applied decoration. Unlike many tables in Italy at this time there is more 'background' than decoration on the surfaces, the only embellishment being the central cartouche of an urn. Either side are overflowing cornucopia beneath swans and are bordered at each corner by sunflower paterae above the trailing hare-bells that run down the legs.

It was the Piedmontese cabinet-maker Guiseppe Bonzanigo and his circle working for the royal court in Turin who first bought these elements together successfully, specifically in a commode by Giovani Venera for the Duke d'Aosta ( ill. CLX Guiseppe Maria Bonzanigo by Giancalo Ferraris 1991), to whom these tables could potentially be attributed. It was both the court, demanding consistently high quality furniture, and the geographical proximity of Piedmont to France, Genoa, Lombardy and Venice, that led to such unique and beautiful examples such as the current consoles.


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