48
48

PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN RULING FAMILY

An Italian ebony and hardstone inset cabinet-on-stand second half 19th century
JUMP TO LOT
48

PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN RULING FAMILY

An Italian ebony and hardstone inset cabinet-on-stand second half 19th century
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Of Royal and Noble Descent

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London

An Italian ebony and hardstone inset cabinet-on-stand second half 19th century
the architectural break-front upper structure incorporating a clock with brass chapter ring, flanked by gilt bronze statuettes of Roman soldiers, above an arrangement of drawers and retractable compartments, the panelled sides with inlaid brass banding, the front overall elaborately inlaid with shaped  pietre dure and marble plaques including lapis lazuli, bianco, rosso e giallo antico, alabaster and onyx; supported on an ebonised sphinx stand
275cm. high, 192cm. wide, 59cm. deep; 9ft., 6ft. 3½in, 1ft. 11in.
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Provenance

Philippe and Marie-Louise Count and Countess of Flandres, Palace Rue de la Régence, Brussels
SAR la Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte de Luxembourg (1927 - 2005) by bequest

Catalogue Note

This cabinet evokes the celebrated production of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure founded in Florence in 1588 by the Grand Duke Ferdinand I de’ Medici.  It became renowned for the distinctive use of various hardstones and semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, agate, chalcedony, malachite, etc, usually inset in ebony structures, creating stunning contrasts.
17th century cabinets of architectural design and with a dazzling array of pietre dure, existing in the Grand ducal workshops in the 19thcentury, were the inspiration for a number of revival pieces produced both in the Opificio, but also in other Florentine workshops by makers such as Pasquale Leoncini and Andrea Picchi.

The present lot, with its impressive scale and design, fits in the context of that production, being sold in Florence to an increasing flow of wealthy tourists, visiting the recently unified Italy. Nevertheless, pietra dura cabinets maintained their status as great art trophies and kept attracting the grand European families as they did in the 17th and 18th century. 

Of Royal and Noble Descent

|
London