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An Italian Renaissance carved walnut table, Florence, second half 16th century 
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555
An Italian Renaissance carved walnut table, Florence, second half 16th century 
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Details & Cataloguing

A Venetian Legacy – An Italian Private Collection

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London

An Italian Renaissance carved walnut table, Florence, second half 16th century 
the rectangular top above shaped supports carved with floral festoons and terminating in acanthus scrolled lion paw feet, joined by a leaf-carved stretcher; with a coat of arms
87.5cm. high, 268cm. wide, 97cm. deep; 2ft. 10½in., 8ft. 9½in., 3ft. 2in.
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Provenance

Semenzato Venezia, Gli Arredi dell'Abbazia di San Gregorio, 28 November 2002, lot 370.

Literature

RELATED LITERATURE

S. Chiarugi, J. Celani, B. Teodori, Attraverso il Novecento. Le collezioni del Museo di Palazzo Davanzani. Gli arredi, Florence, 2016.

D. Dubon, Furniture in the Frick Collection, New York, 1992.

A. Pedrini, Italian Furniture Interiors and Decoration of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century, London.

M. Tinti, Il Mobilio Fiorentino, Milan-Rome, 1949.

Catalogue Note

This impressive and richly carved table belongs to a group of iconic pieces that have been highly prized throughout the centuries. In the Renaissance period, the rectangular centre table with broad lateral supports joined by a stretcher was the most common form of table, deriving from the Roman marble ones which consisted of a solid top set on two lateral supports. During the 16th century, such supports were elaborately carved, so that the stretchers, instead of piercing them, had a socket cut out on the inside which held it in place.

Most of the carved elements, such as the foot with fur developing into foliage, are also derived from antique models. The four massive lion paw feet are carved in full relief with the addition of the naturalistic fur element at their back, a trait found on numerous surviving examples from the period, including one table now in the Frick Collection (inv. no. 16.5.82). Comparable models of equally strong character include a Florentine table sold Sotheby’s London, Haute Époque, 29 October 2008, lot 101, and another formerly in the Monselice Castle, illustrated in A. Pedrini, op. cit., p. 106, fig. 281.

In the current lot, an “esemplare integro” as mentioned in the Museo di Palazzo Davanti catalogue (Teodori, Chiarugi, Cellani, p. 61) ), the richness of the carving on the supports on the present table is however quite unmatched: the rose scrolls, recalling those found on carving in the manner of the Del Tasso workshop and on a number of Florentine High Renaissance pieces, such as in the frieze of the Sacrestia delle Messe in the Florentine Cathedral (fig. 1). Moreover, a similar festoon, albeit poorly carved, is found on a table formerly in the Constantini Collection, illustrated in Pedrini, op. cit., p. 109, fig. 288. On the present piece, as well as on a number of comparable examples, is possible that the stretcher could be of a later date.

The distinctive coat of arms on one of the two supports - a label of three point gules and a crescent sable - identifies three ancient Florentine families: the Canigiani - known for the Holy Family by Raphael now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, and bought for their home altar - the Paganelli – in fact a cadet branch of the former - and finally the Covoni, whose main residence, Palazzo Covini, is in via della Vigna Vecchia.

A Venetian Legacy – An Italian Private Collection

|
London