An Italian scagliola table top, Florence, second half 19th century
6,000 - 8,000 GBP
An Italian scagliola table top, Florence,
second half 19th century
centred by a roundel within a boss depicting a parrot on a fruiting branch with branches of flowers, bluebells, ladybirds and butterflies on a black ground, on a wrought-iron stand with turned legs joined by crossed stretchers; top restored
69.5cm. high, 144.5cm, 87.5cm. deep; 2ft. 3⅜in., 4ft. 8⅞in., 2ft. 10½in.
In overall good conserved condition. The top has several scratches and some minor chips along the edge, with a couple of medium size chips, together with a very minor restoration to the top and bottom left corners.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
The design for the present scagliola table is directly inspired by a pietre dure table top from the Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert collection at the Victoria & Albert, Museum (acc. no. LOAN:GILBERT.939-2008). The interwoven foliage and flowers centred by a parrot represent a popular subject in Florentine pietre dure and scagliola table tops promoted back in the early 17th century by the Italian painter and designer Jacopo Ligozzi (1547-1626) whose influences on Florentine pietre dure workshops and the fashion for images with birds and flowers are therefore evident across the present scagliola table top. Much like Ligozzi achieved through his drawings, the composition of the table top succeeds to emulate nature made possible here by the impressive skills of the top's maker, thus proving the merit of the scagliola technique rivaling that of pietra dura.
Jacopo Ligozzi was the court painter of the Medicis and worked not only in close connections with the famous naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, but also prepare designs and cartoons for the production of the Opificio. His drawings were, for example, the basis for the design of the altar in the Church of Ognissanti built under the patronage of the Bardi. Most importantly, his drawings were the source of inspiration for the fiorante, the painters specialized in depicting flowers and in charge of supplying designs to the Galleria dei Lavori. The demand for these panels was so popular that the manufacture had a stock of these panels destined to be mounted on cabinets, caskets and other furniture pieces, much of which were bought individually by visitors to bring back and have them mounted as they wished in their home country.