This Italian late Neoclassical, ca. 1800-1820 inlaid fruitwood salon table has four round-in-section, tapering legs united by a medial, inlay-banded tray-stretcher. The legs support two entablature drawers with a conforming breccia marble top bordered by a fruitwood gallery. The legs have gilt-bronze mounts at the top and foot. The two drawers and the back board of the upper case are decorated with floral marquetry representing bouquets in baskets; the sides are decorated with floral marquetry representing bouquets tied by ribbons.
Certain elements of this table—especially the un-fluted columnar-like legs and their Tuscan capital-like gilt-bronze mounts—relate stylistically to French designs of the Empire period (ca. 1800-1820). However, the use of fruitwood, the wood gallery around the marble top, and, especially, the use of figural marquetry are more typical of Italian work in this period. Italian Neoclassical furniture was renowned for its sophisticated marquetry (or intarsia, as it is known in Italy), and many Italian cabinetmakers became famous for their work in intarsia. In Lombardy, for example, Giuseppe Maggiolini, known as “maestro intarsiatore,” worked for the Milanese court and then for Napoleon, who was President of the Italian Republic (1802-05) and King of Italy (1805-14). In other centers, intarsia furniture designers gained similar fame, such as Francesco Spighi and Giovanni Socci in Florence, Agostino Fantastici in Siena, and Pietro Massagli in Lucca. Although the Dumbarton Oaks table is not by one of these masters, it nevertheless is part of the tradition of Italian furniture design during the Napoleonic period.
Purchased from Rex Carter Antiques, Paris, by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, 12/23/1924.
Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, D.C., 12/23/1924-11/29/1940.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, D.C.