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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A NORTH ITALIAN BURR-WALNUT, ROSEWOOD, PARQUETRY AND MARQUETRY WRITING-TABLE crossbanded overall and inlaid with boxwood lines, with sliding rectangular top inlaid with geometric panels and centred by an oval medallion depicting Hercules resting, opening to reveal an adjustable writing slide with inset black leather writing-surface, above an olivewood-lined drawer with three further drawers and pulling out to reveal three secret drawers beneath, the frieze similarly inlaid with geometric panels on all four sides, on square tapering legs, brass caps and casters, circa 1800

Details
A NORTH ITALIAN BURR-WALNUT, ROSEWOOD, PARQUETRY AND MARQUETRY WRITING-TABLE crossbanded overall and inlaid with boxwood lines, with sliding rectangular top inlaid with geometric panels and centred by an oval medallion depicting Hercules resting, opening to reveal an adjustable writing slide with inset black leather writing-surface, above an olivewood-lined drawer with three further drawers and pulling out to reveal three secret drawers beneath, the frieze similarly inlaid with geometric panels on all four sides, on square tapering legs, brass caps and casters, circa 1800
39½in. (105cm.) wide; 31¾in. (80.5cm.) high; 26½in. (67cm.) deep, when closed

Lot Essay

With its 'herm' pilaster legs and veneered tablets of exotic specimen woods with marbled figuring banded by mosaic-ribbon inlay, this table is designed in the Louis XVI 'antique' manner. The ingenious sliding top, accompanying the bureau drawer, is inlaid with perspectival fretted ribbon and is centred by an oval mythological medallion depicting the lion's-pelt-draped Hercules resting after his labours upon a rockwork throne. The discarded plough at his feet almost certainly alludes to Hercules' successful capture of the oxen of Geryon, after slaying a two-headed dog, the giant, and Geryon himself. The characteristic geometric linearity, the use of exotic specimen and especially burr-wood veneers, as well as the deep, tablet-enriched frieze and the profile of the legs relates this writing-table to the oeuvre of the Turinese architect and intarsiati Ignazio Revelli (d.1836). A related writing-table with a similar, reversed oval medallion depicting Hercules, is illustrated in G. Morazzoni, Il Mobile NeoClassico Italiano, Milan 1955, tav. XCII
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