A MALTESE SPECIMEN MARBLE TABLE-TOP ON AN ASSOCIATED GILTWOOD BASE
A MALTESE SPECIMEN MARBLE TABLE-TOP ON AN ASSOCIATED GILTWOOD BASE
A MALTESE SPECIMEN MARBLE TABLE-TOP ON AN ASSOCIATED GILTWOOD BASE
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This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal.… Read more
A MALTESE SPECIMEN MARBLE TABLE-TOP ON AN ASSOCIATED GILTWOOD BASE

THE TOP ATTRIBUTED TO J. DARMANIN & SONS, MID-19TH CENTURY, THE BASE PROBABLY GEORGE II CIRCA 1740 AND SUBSTANTIALLY ALTERED AND EMBELLISHED

Details
A MALTESE SPECIMEN MARBLE TABLE-TOP ON AN ASSOCIATED GILTWOOD BASE
THE TOP ATTRIBUTED TO J. DARMANIN & SONS, MID-19TH CENTURY, THE BASE PROBABLY GEORGE II CIRCA 1740 AND SUBSTANTIALLY ALTERED AND EMBELLISHED
The rectangular specimen top inlaid with various marbles including portoro, verde antico, giallo di Siena and cipolino, centred with two inlaid medallions depicting a Carthaginian warrior and a horse before a palm tree within a foliate inlaid inner border and a later Spanish brocatello outer border; the base with shell-centred acanthus and oak garland-hung vitruvian-scroll frieze on mask-headed cabriole legs terminating in hairy lion's-paw feet, the top repaired the base adapted, reduced in size and re-gilt
33 in. (84 cm.) high; 49 ½ in. (126 cm.) wide; 36 in. (91.5 cm.) deep
Literature
F. Simone (ed.), Renzo Mongiardino Roomscapes, Milan, 2016, p. 201.
Special notice

This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

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Lot Essay

This splendid polychrome specimen marble table top bears the distinctive hallmarks of the famed Maltese firm of Darmanin & Son, who operated from a large marble works on the island during the 19th and 20th Centuries. The firm of 'Guiseppe Darmanin e Figli', or J[ospeh] Darmanin & Sons (for their British customers), originally produced pavements and church monuments for Maltese consumption but became famed for their distinctive marble mosaic tables-tops which were exhibited at many of the great international exhibitions throughout the 19th Century, notably being awarded a medal at The Great Exhibition, London, in 1851. The tradition of producing fine inlaid marble work or
pietra dure was established in Malta as early as the 17th Century by the Italian émigré craftsmen commissioned to produce elaborate memorials for the Knight Hospitallers of St John. From the beginning of the 19th Century, with the advent of British rule, the Maltese mosaic workshops began producing table tops and other inlaid marble work in the Italian manner to satiate the appetite of the British grand tourists, who, by then, flocked to the island. Impressive armorial table tops were commissioned from the Darmanin workshops, Malta, by several ‘notable’ 19th century tourists and more than one example surviving in the British The Royal Collection.
An impressive pair of signed Darmanin table tops which bore the same distinctive iconography, namely the depiction of the Carthaginian Warrior and the depiction of a horse beneath a palm tree were sold at Christie’s New York, 27 September 2007, lot 300. They came from the collection of the voracious collector and inveterate ‘Grand Tourist’, Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry. Londonderry’s armorial table-tops would have been commissioned directly, probably during the 1840s, alongside the related armorial chimney pieces he installed following a devastating fire in 1841 and which can still be seen in the ballroom at Lord Londonderry’s former home, Wynyard Park, County Durham.
The base of this table is closely modelled on a design by William Jones, published in The Gentleman or Builder's Companion in 1739 (see: E. White, Pictorial Dictionaryof British 18h Century Furniture Design, Woodbridge, 1990, p. 262, plate 27).

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