This impressive side table, with its jewel-like carving, exemplifies the exquisite furniture produced in Turin in the 1770's and 1780's for the royal court of Savoy and their circle by the scultore Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo and his contemporaries.
It was supplied to Carlo Francesco Valperga, conte di Masino and marchese di Caluso, whose family had made their fortune from hemp- it is presumably his monogram, the initials 'MC' (perhaps for Masino and Caluso, his two titles), which appears on the frieze of the table. He had a brilliant diplomatic career for the Savoy court, having been the minister plenipotentiary for the king to the court of Portugal, and then ambassador to Spain, culminating in his appointment in 1780 as Viceroy of Sardinia, second only in importance to the king. Up until then he had resided at the family seat, the Castello di Masino outside Turin, but given his newly acquired prominence he needed a residence in the city and duly purchased a palazzo from the duc di Broglia on the corner of via Arsenale and via San Carlo.
He immediately set about refurbishing his new palazzo in the most fashionable 'alla francese' Louis XVI style, using the architect Filippo Castelli and the scultore Bartolomeo Manghetti, who supplied the table offered here, and much other stylish menuiserie in the French taste (including examples imported from France, for instance a chair by Pierre Brizard), some of which was subsequently moved to the Castello di Masino, including a magnificent bed clearly influenced by the work of Bonzanigo (see Ferraris op. cit., pp. 133-135).