View full screen - View 1 of Lot 848. AN ITALIAN BAROQUE COMMESSO DI PIETRE DURE PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, EARLY 17TH CENTURY.
848

AN ITALIAN BAROQUE COMMESSO DI PIETRE DURE PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, EARLY 17TH CENTURY

Estimate:

60,000 to - 100,000 USD

AN ITALIAN BAROQUE COMMESSO DI PIETRE DURE PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, EARLY 17TH CENTURY

AN ITALIAN BAROQUE COMMESSO DI PIETRE DURE PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, EARLY 17TH CENTURY

Estimate:

60,000 to - 100,000 USD

Lot sold:

150,000

USD

AN ITALIAN BAROQUE COMMESSO DI PIETRE DURE PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, EARLY 17TH CENTURY


inlaid with various marbles and hardstones including lapis lazuli, bianco e nero anticorosso anticogiallo anticobrocatello di Spagnaalabastro fiorito, and verde di Corsica within a portor marble border

Inspected on 20 March 1992 by Dr Annamaria Giusti, who confirmed the attribution and dating to circa 1610


24 1/4 x 39 1/2 in.

61.5 x 100.5 cm

Scattered scratches to surface. Patches, infill, and small losses to marbles, including the corner cartouches and the smaller lapis lozenges. Small circular abrasion to one corner cartouche. Patches and scattered losses to portor marble border. Varied and beautiful chromatic palette. Catalogue photo is accurate. 


This condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. It is not a full description of condition. Images of the lot provided may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the images may represent colors and shades which are different than the lot’s actual color and shades. This condition report may not make reference to all imperfections, restorations, or alterations. Sotheby’s is not a professional conservator or restorer, and we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

The technique of coloured marble and hardstone geometric inlay dates to ancient Rome, where it was called opus sectile, and it was in 16th-century Rome where the art was revived to supply aristocratic and ecclesiastic patrons. Its popularity quickly spread to other Italian centres, and in 1588 Grand Duke Ferdinand I de'Medici founded the Galleria dei Lavori in Pietre Dure in Florence as a rival to the Roman workshops, originally to supply the Medici family palaces and chapels, and later producing table tops and panels for a wider clientele. Renamed the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in the mid-1800s, the workshop continues to operate to this day. The present lot is a rare example of the little-documented exchanges between the two centres in the early decades of the Galleria dei Lavori's existence. The composition of a large oval marble specimen surrounded by a border of symmetrically disposed cartouches is an archetypal Roman characteristic of last quarter of the sixteenth century. However, the richly varied chromatic palette and introduction of more naturalistic motifs such as floral sprays and snails is a Florentine invention, also seen for example on an early square table top from the Grand Ducal Workshops of c.1700 now in the Museo degli Argenti, Florence (Fig.1; illustrated in A.M. Giusti, Pietre Dure. The Art of Semiprecious Stonework, London 1996, p.23 fig.18). Two further early Florentine tops of square format with a Roman-style arrangement of a central octagonal panel bordered by strapwork cartouches but integrating floral sprays, are in Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England and the Villa Reale, Milan (illustrated in A. González-Palacios, Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras, Madrid 2001, p.90-91).


Artistic tendencies could travel in both directions, however, as birds, insects and snails do appear in two monumental table tops produced in Rome in c.1600 now in National Trust collections (Powis Castle, Wales and Charlecote Manor, Warwickshire). Stylistically, they are related to an important table in All Soul's College, Oxford signed by Pietro Carli, a Florentine craftsman believed to be working in Rome in the late 16th century (ill. Giusti, p.38 fig.27), a further illustration of the links between Florentine and Roman work during this period. However, by the mid-17th century the Galleria dei Lavori's production had moved definitively away from the Roman tradition of geometrical composition in favour of naturalistic subjects with floral and fauna becoming the predominant decorative motifs, making the present top an important testament to the Grand Ducal Workshop's earliest production.


The incorporation of a lapis-lazuli lozenge in the central oval is extremely unusual, as this shape was normally reserved for border decoration, as in the 16th-century Roman table owned by Cardinal Richelieu (Paris, Louvre; ill. in S. Castelluccio, Les Meubles de Pierres Dures de Louis XIV, Dijon 2007, p.14-17). Of a particularly vivid blue that was highly favoured by the early Florentine stonecutters, this material was beautifully exploited in some of their most magnificent creations, such as the table designed by Giorgio Vasari for the Medici family and later in the Duke of Westminster's collection (recently on the London art market); also the top with the coat of arms of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria (Munich, Residenz) and that supplied to the Grimani family in Venice and later owned by the Earls of Warwick at Warwick Castle (sold Sotheby's London, 10 December 2015, lot 201; 3,509,000 GBP with premium).