The bold entwined foliate scrolls, interspersed rosettes and central circular medallion relate this superb pietra dura top to the decoration of the monument to Vittoria and Camillo Carace, in the Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, Naples, executed circa 1650 to designs by Neapolitan sculptor and architect Cosimo Fanzago. The use of what seems to be precisely the same marble and hardstones further suggest that the present top was most probably the oeuvre of a marble worker from Fanzago’s circle.
Neapolitan sculptor and architect Fanzago (1591-1678), was born in Bergamo and arrived in Naples in 1608 where he joined the workshop of Florentine artist Angelo Landi. Fanzago's prowess in many fields of art and his remarkable facility of production led him to a position of unchallenged supremacy in 17th century Neapolitan architecture. He built numerous churches and chapels in Naples, which he would often adorn with his own decoration and sculpture. AS A-M Giusti reveals, the Carace Chapel of San Lorenzo Maggiore mentioned above, arguably remains one of the masterpieces of the Neapolitan Baroque.
Related specimen marble and pietra dura examples include a top sold (with stand), sold from 'The Collection of Suzanne Saperstein, 'Fleur-de-lys’, Beverly Hills, California’, Sotheby’s, New York, 19 April 2012, lot 217 ($194,500 with premium), and two further related tops, formerly in the collection of the 2nd Lord Brocket at Bramshill, Hampshire, sold Sotheby’s, London, 12 December 1986, lot 221 (£198,000 with premium).