By repute, it is believed that this table is one of a pair, the other of which was at one time at Warwick Castle, but whose present whereabouts is unknown. The pair of tables was exhibited in 1851 at the Great Exhibition in London and were purchased by the Italian Consul General in Liverpool following the exhibition.
'Scagliola' is a technique of inlaying marble powders and pigments into a routed marble surface producing a look resembling a painting. Michelangelo Barberi was renowned as one of the most celebrated Roman micro-mosaic and scagliola artists of the first half of the 19th century. In 1817, he left Rome for Moscow where he received commissions from Princess Volkonski, later opening up a workshop under her patronage. On a subsequent return journey to Russia, he was received in St Petersburg by Tsar Nicholas I who later asked him to help set up and advise a school of micro-mosaic artists based on that in the Vatican. In 1851, he participated in the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition where he received first prize for a mosaic panel entitled Il Bel Cielo, a second example of a composition he had already executed for the Tsar. In celebration of his achievements, in 1856 he issued a catalogue of his work entitled 'Alcuni mosaici usciti dallo studio del Cav. Michel'Angelo Barberi'