This magnificent table is one of the finest and best preserved examples of a small group of such spectacular Venetian marquetry panels executed by Lucio and Antonio de Lucci, the only documented craftsmen to have produced such marquetry furniture in Venice in the second half of the 17th century.
Nothing is known about the De Luccis, apart from the few works signed by them, which include, next to the spectacular pair of tables sold by the Duke of Buccleuch, Christie's London 11 March 1971, and again Christie's London, 7 December 2006, a third table top on which a very similar Turkish figure is holding an ivory scroll inscribed 'ANT. DE LUCCI FECE IN VENETIA 1686'. A fourth top, possibly made en suite and identically inscribed, was cut up in the 18th century to be employed as marquetry decoration on a German writing desk probably constructed in 1764 (see D. di Castro, 'Una tarsia veneziana del Seicento per un bureau tedesco del Settecento', DecArt, Riviste di arti decorative 1 (2004), pp. 20-25). The other two known tops, the one presented here as well as its pair inlaid with a view of 'NAPOLI DI ROMANIA' (presumably Nauplia), can be firmly attributed to the same makers on comparison with the signed ones. As their works are extremely alike, there can be no doubt that Antonio and Luccio de Lucci were related and that they were active in the same workshop.
Whereas Florentine marquetry furniture from the second half of the 17th century is well-known, with the work of the Flemish-born Leonardo van der Vinne standing out, very little ambitious pictorial marquetry made in other Italian cities during this period is recorded. In comparison with the work of Van der Vinne which closely adheres to Parisian models (cf. Colle, pp. 164-171), the marquetry by the De Luccis is characterized by bold scrolled ribbons, exuberant floral patterns and highly ambitious pictorial scenes.
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. It was a battle of The Holy League versus the Ottoman Empire and fiefdoms of the Ottoman Empire near the Kahlenberg mountain in Vienna. The large-scale battle was won by Polish-Lithuanian, Austrian and German forces commanded by King of Poland Jan III Sobieski versus the Ottoman Empire army and the Ottoman fiefdoms armies commanded by Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha and marked the beginning of the political hegemony of the Habsburg dynasty in Central Europe.
The pair to this table depicts the capture of Napoli di Roma (the Italian name of the seaport Nauplia in the Greek Peleponnese) by the Venetian general Francesco Morosini in 1686, restoring to the Venetians their ancient stronghold in the Morea, ceeded to the Turks in the 16th century.