THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
**AN ITALIAN ROCOCO IVORY AND MOTHER-OF-PEARL-INLAID ROSEWOOD, FRUITWOOD AND EBONY STAND

CIRCA 1735, PIEDMONTESE, BY PIETRO PIFFETTI

Details
**AN ITALIAN ROCOCO IVORY AND MOTHER-OF-PEARL-INLAID ROSEWOOD, FRUITWOOD AND EBONY STAND
CIRCA 1735, PIEDMONTESE, BY PIETRO PIFFETTI
The eared, shaped top veneered à quatre faces, within a husk and C-scroll border in simulated lambrequin drapes studded with mother-of-pearl, the shaped spreading body with further panels above an acanthus-moulded border, on palmette-inlaid scroll feet
6¼in. (16cm.) high, 12¼in. (31cm.) wide, 11½in. (28cm.) deep

Lot Essay

This remarkable stand is virtually identical to an example by Pietro Piffetti (1700-1777) in the collection of La Meridiana in Turin, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Mostra del Barocco Piemontese, Turin, 1963, pl. 46B, and to one sold at Christie's London, 18 May 1995, lot 358. The offered lot varies only slightly in decoration, specifically in the inlaid decoration to the canted angles which appears in the example in the La Meridiana collection while the top of the example sold at Christie's London is further embellished with a ducal coronet. It has been suggested that these stands were originally designed to support a sculpture or vase, a theory corroborated by discoloration to the ivory inlay around the top of the stand offered here. It is also interesting to note a crucifix stand in the Palazzo Reale, Turin illustrated in G. Ferraris, A. Gonzalez-Palacios and R. Valeriani Pietro Piffetti e gli ebanisti a Torino, Turin, 1992, p. 117 fig. 43 which is composed of two stands similar to the one offered here which form a two-tier support for a crucifix.

This stand can be firmly placed with in the documented oeuvre of Piffetti through its exotic combination of materials such as ivory and mother-of-pearl, and the extraordinary fluidity of the design incorporating the illusionistic drapery of the top and the exaggerated scroll feet, a particular hallmark of Piffetti's work. Piffetti continued the tradition of ivory marquetry originally established by Luigi Prinotto who worked for the King of Savoy and Sardinia in the 1710's and 1720's. Piffetti perfected Prinotto's work in precious materials such as ivory and mother-of-pearl and achieved a much greater sense of fluidity and softness of design and execution. Piffetti was elected ebenista reale in 1731 by Carlo Emmanuel III and worked for various members of the royal family throughout his life and executed a dazzlinf array of objects for the Palazzo Reale and other royal residences. A remarkable cassetone by Piffetti, inlaid in tortoiseshell, ivory and mother-of-pearl with naturalistically engraved flowers was sold in these Rooms, 23 May 1995, lot 122.
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